Cyber Law Compliance Center
Promoted by www.naavi.org
Instructions for Use:
If you want to use this policy for your WhatsApp group, please contact Naavi for permission with your contact details and purpose of the group. Once you receive the confirmation, please use the link of this page in a message to your group members declaring adoption of this policy. This is a slightly modified version edited on 9th January 2017. Earlier version was dated 23rd October 2015 which had been updated on 9th January 2017
Policy For WhatsApp Group Administration
[Version Dated 21st March 2020]
Applicable for WhatsApp Group Named:....................., Created by ..................., Administered by ..........................
This What’sApp Group is a voluntary member of Naavi’s Cyber Law Compliance Center and adopts the following “Naavi’s CLCC-Model Policy for WhatsApp group administration”. This Usage policy is binding on all users of this WhatsApp Group present or future.
Any person who joins this group is deemed to have accepted the terms represented by this document. Any member who is not in agreement with these policies is required to opt out of the group by exiting the group.
A decision not to Exit, is deemed as an acceptance of the norms of usage as represented by this Policy document.
However, even after Exit, the member shall be liable for all his actions while he was a member of this group.
Since this group is available only on WhatsApp application, all members have already given their consent to the WhatsApp terms and conditions before downloading and installing the application and such terms will be binding on them for every message they post on this group in addition to what is stated in this document.
Members are requested to check the terms of WhatsApp by visiting www.whatsapp.com from time to time and browsing through the contents including the WhatsAPP FAQ.
The objective of this group is convenient sending and receiving of messages between the members who have opted in as members.
This group has been created on WhatsApp application of WhatsApp.Inc and may represent a “service” in limited terms, but does not provide any warranty except the intention of the Group creator and the Admins to use this platform for legitimate and legal private communication between the members.
The details of the WhatsApp application is described in the website www.whatsapp.com.
The Group may carry a name and profile picture which may indicate the purpose of the group though it is not the determining aspect of the group objective.
Status of the Service
Technically, the service is a “Message Routing System” that comes alive from time to time when a message is sent to the WhatsApp server by any user of the Group. Based on the group membership information available on the WhatsApp server, the message is routed to all other members of the group.
Every message posted on this group is deemed to be an individual message meant for each of the other group members and is delivered to each of the members. It is not a "Publication" for the information of public outside the members of this group. The messages do not represent “content” hosted or published to be read by others like a website or a blog.
In order to deliver the message to those members who may not be connected to internet when the message is being transmitted, WhatsApp temporarily stores the message on its servers as per their terms and delivers them to the member whenever he is connected to the Internet. This is a feature of WhatsApp Inc service and the Group Administration has no role in such storage or maintenance or deletion of such undelivered messages.
The group administration does not store any of the messages nor specifically direct the message to any select member of the group. Upon receipt of the message sent by a member by another member of the group, the messages get stored on the devices of the users and the group has no control over such storing or subsequent use or deletion. The user then has complete responsibility for the message stored and not deleted on his device.
The service of this Group is a private service offered to the opted-in members and is limited to the technical set up to facilitate multiple messages being routed upon a single submission.
The Group Admins are named “Admins” but their role is limited to sending out requests to members to join and approving the member’s requests to join.
In effect, when a member sends a message through the system, it is an instruction to the WhatsApp server “Please duplicate and Send to other members listed in a group called …..”
This request is sent by a member directly to the WhatsApp server and not the Group Admins and is acted upon by the WhatsApp server. It is important to note that the Creator/Admin has no right to moderate or edit or stop any message. It is therefore considered a direct service offered by the WhatsApp Inc. Any message sent by any member of the group is delivered to other members of the group, directly by Whatsapp servers, without any intervention or information or interference by Creator/Admin. The role of the Creator/Group Admin is only to update the list of members attached to a specified group and this is a service rendered to enable WhatsApp.Inc to provide its service.
Information Technology Act 2000 as amended which is a law applicable in India for the use of electronic documents defines an entity as an “Intermediary” in certain circumstances and mandates that such entities follow “Due Diligence” to be protected from the liabilities arising out of the messages sent through their service. It is deemed that WhatsApp is an “Intermediary” under ITA 2000. This group is a secondary intermediary which works between the user and the WhatsApp server. This model policy is therefore designed to define a voluntary code of conduct to the members and draws inspiration from the concept of “Due Diligence” requirements as envisaged under Section 79 of ITA 2000/8.
Responsibilities of the Creator and Group Admin
The Creator of the group is not associated with WhatsApp Inc (as a company) and is only using the App as per terms under which the App has been released by the Company.
The Creator is the default Group admin and other member/s may in due course be designated as Group Admin/s by the creator and other Admins.
The Creator or the Group Admins are not liable for any malfunctioning of the App or any contravention of law by WhatsApp.
The Creator or a specific Group Admin are also not liable for any contravention of law by other Admins or users.
Responsibilities of the Users
All users are aware that this is an un-moderated group and each member is responsible to post message for which they are wholly responsible.
The Group is available only for persons who by the laws of their country of residence and the laws of India are legally competent to enter into valid contracts. As per Indian law they shall be above the age of 18 if no Court has appointed a guardian, and shall be above the age of 21 otherwise, nor he is an undischarged insolvent or declared a person of unsound mind. The group admin shall not make any verification of the contractual capacity of a member and the fact that he is in possession of a device equipped to use. WhatsApp application is considered sufficient verification of the user’s credentials.
Members are responsible to declare themselves out of the group if they are legally not competent to contract.
Every user shall take steps to understand the laws of his country of his residence and India, with regard to the use of WhatsApp as a messaging application and ensure strict compliance thereof.
Members shall post only messages that are not violative of any law of their country and India and also avoid messages which could cause annoyance to other members.
If any member forwards a message posted in this group to any other group, it will be entirely at his risk and responsibility and no other member of this group shall be held liable for such distribution irrespective of the intended or unintended consequences thereof.
All members in the group are identified by their mobile numbers and in the event they change their mobile numbers, they shall inform the group administration so that they can be deemed to have exited from the group and re-admitted under a different mobile ID.
All members are required to use their identifiable name as their WhatsApp ID and refrain from using anonymous or misleading identities. The Group admin reserves its right to inform the official identity of a member to other members so that they can update their contact lists and the messages posted by every member appears on the message list of the recipient with an identifiable name.
Users shall not send any message which may cause annoyance, inconvenience, insult, enmity, ill will to the recipients or otherwise cause disturbance to public peace or disturb peace and harmony in the society or adversely affect relations with friendly countries or is likely to incite commission of any offence or contravention of law.
Users shall use discretion and shall refrain from sending messages that other users may consider as offensive or threatening whether the sender believes them to be true or not. Users shall take reasonable steps to verify information received from other sources before sharing with the group and avoid circulation of hoax messages and rumours.
Users shall use discretion while sending any messages as a “Joke” and respond positively with an apology when other members raise objection to such “jokes”.
Users shall not send any messages assuming a false identity so as to deceive and mislead the receiver.
Sharing of Content
The electronic space represented by the messages sent and received by a member of the group is considered as a “Private Message Space”.
The messages delivered by a member through this group is meant only for other members of the group and Non Members have no authorization to access these messages nor the messages are meant for them.
If any member shares any message with any Non-Member, such member shall be solely responsible for the consequences thereof. Also he shall be considered to have indemnified the other members of this group including the admins for any adverse consequences arising thereof.
If any Non-Member accesses the messages without specific permission, it shall be deemed to be an unauthorized access as per Section 43 of ITA 2000/8 and also liable for payment of compensation and prosecution under Section 66 of ITA 2000 of India.
Sharing of Content with Law Enforcement
Members are advised that if any person purports to be from the Police/Law Enforcement and demands sharing of the content, it has to be treated as a request for “Seizure” of an asset under the Powers to be derived under Section 80 of Information Technology Act 2000 as amended or other competent statutes.
Such seizure of electronic assets are expected to follow a due process and are subject to responsibilities cast on the authority demanding the information as envisaged under Sections 69, 70B and 72 of ITA 2000/8 in particular for following due process and for protecting the Privacy of the information.
The member shall draw the attention of the authority demanding the information to this model policy document and record that the authority has been made aware of their responsibilities here of.
Any law enforcement authority proceeding with the demand for the information is deemed to have been notified of the limitation of his powers under the law and is open to any further action by the member as per the rights provided under the Indian Constitution as well as for prosecution for wrongful use of powers under Section 69 of ITA 2000.
In the event any Competent Court of appropriate jurisdiction at the physical location of a Group Admin, serves a valid notice to the Group Admin, it may be acted upon and if required, information regarding any group member or message as may be available with the Group Admin as a member of the group could be shared as per the terms of the request.
The Group administration does not store any message on its own and the storage of message if any is restricted to what the WhatsApp Company provides under its policies and in its server and any person seeking such information shall contact the WhatsApp Company directly.
Any information stored by a member in his capacity as a member may be deleted any time with or without reading and no knowledge of the message is presumed just for the reason of a person being a member of the group. If the Admin has deleted the message or messages or the media from his device, the information may not be retrievable by them.
We presume that any law enforcement authority or a Judicial authority are aware of the provisions of the law and the limitations of the powers to search and seize electronic content, the technical limitations associated with the user or admins of WhatsApp, as well as the adverse consequences of misuse of law and act at all times within the boundaries of law.
The responsibility of any Admin to provide any information on requests by law enforcement or a Judicial authority is limited to providing the known mobile number of the member and the messages available at that point of time in the personal device of the Admin to whom a valid notice is served.
It is brought to the attention of the law enforcement and judicial authorities that presence of a single or double tick, red or blue tick is not a conclusive proof of the message having been read by the recipient. It is however possible for any message or set of messages to be certified under Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act 1872 by any authorized observer of the content.
The Group Admin shall be considered as the primary Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) and shall be responsible to initiate necessary remedial action within 3 working days of receipt of the grievance. Where there are more than one Group Admin, any of them are considered as the GRO.
Any grievance between different users shall be resolved by them independent of the Group subject to the following.
Where necessary the Group may seek the assistance of Naavi as an e-Ombudsman to help mediate and resolve the disputes, subject his acceptance.
Where necessary, the services of www.odrglobal.in may be used for online arbitration/mediation subject to all the disputing parties agreeing for the same.
Where the members are not satisfied with the decision of the arbitration or where the dispute is subject to mandatory adjudication by a competent judicial body, the appropriate judicial authority having jurisdiction in Bangalore shall be approached by the parties for resolution.
The role of the Group Admin in such dispute resolution process is limited to providing assistance to the grievance resolution authority by way of providing information that may be available with the Admin and required for the resolution.
When a receiver of a message considers any message as not meeting the guidelines of this policy, they shall send their objection as a message in the group. The member who has originated the message on which the objection has been raised may send a message clarifying and/or apologizing for hurting the sentiments of the other members.
Where necessary the offended member may escalate the objection to a “Grievance” and seek action from the Group Admin. The grievance shall be expeditiously attended to by the Group Admin as per the “Grievance Redressal Policy” of the Group if any, failing which the policy of www.odrglobal.in shall be applicable and Naavi shall be the final authority to interpret the application of the grievance redressal policy.
This policy is subject to revision and updation from time to time and all such revisions will be notified to the last known email address of the registrant.
©2015: This document is created by Naavi and all rights of usage are reserved. Any person intending to use this document shall contact Naavi and obtain necessary permission.