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Kerala High Court rules WhatsApp admin is not liable for objectionable posts

The Kerala High Court has ruled that the administrators or producers of a WhatsApp group cannot be held vicariously accountable for any objectionable content uploaded on the group by any of its members. The high court made the decision while dismissing a POCSO case against the admin of a WhatsApp group where one of its members had shared child pornography.

While setting aside the petitioner’s case, the court stated that while admins can delete users, they have no control over what a member posts.

‘A vicarious criminal liability can only be imposed because of a legislative provision, not otherwise.’ An admin of a WhatsApp group cannot be held accountable for an objectionable post by a group member in the absence of a special penal law providing vicarious responsibility,’ said a single bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath.


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