SEBI has vide its notification amended the rule 7 of the SEBI (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 1995 to provide for sending of notices to violators by electronic instant messaging viz. whatsapp, telegram, signal etc. Notice sent by electronic mail (i.e. e-mail) or electronic instant messaging has to be digitally signed and bouncing of electronic mail shall not constitute valid service. I am wondering what shall constitute valid service in the case of whatsapp, telegram etc. Normally people don’t open whatsapp messages from unknown numbers and proceed to delete, flag or block such numbers instantly from their phones. I have done that several times. When a person sees the message, a blue tick appears on the sender’s phone, but what if the recipient has directly deleted that message, then does it constitute valid service, moot point to think about.
The amended rule 7 is given below:
―7. Service of notices and orders.– (1) A notice or an order issued under these rules shall be served
on the person through any of the following modes, namely:–
(a) by delivering or tendering it to that person or his duly authorised agent; or
(b) by sending it to the person by fax or electronic mail or electronic instant messaging services along with electronic mail or by courier or speed post or registered post:
Provided that the courier or speed post or registered post shall be sent to the address of his place of residence or his last known place of residence or the place where he carried on, or last carried on, business or personally works, or last worked, for gain, with acknowledgment due:
Provided further that a notice sent by fax shall bear a note that the same is being sent by fax and in case the document contains annexure, the number of pages being sent shall also be mentioned:
Provided also that a notice sent through electronic mail or electronic instant messaging services along with electronic mail shall be digitally signed by the competent authority and bouncing of the electronic mail shall not constitute valid service.
(2) In case of failure to serve a notice or an order through any one of the modes provided under subrule (1), the notice or order may be affixed on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of the
premises in which the person resides or is known to have last resided, or carried on business or personally
works, or last worked, for gain and a written report thereof shall be prepared in the presence of two
(3) In case of failure to affix the notice or order on the outer door as provided under sub-rule (2), the
notice or order shall be published in at least two newspapers, one of which shall be in an English daily
newspaper having nationwide circulation and another shall be in a newspaper having wide circulation
published in the language of the region where that person was last known to have resided or carried on
business or personally worked for gain.