At this, Chief Justice S.A. Bobde replied: “We will issue notice in the matter.”
A bench, headed by the Chief Justice and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, told counsel for WhatsApp: “People have grave apprehensions about loss of privacy. You may be 2 or 3 trillion dollar company, but people value their privacy more than your money… we have to protect people’s privacy.”
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar, appearing for WhatsApp, strongly contested Divan’s argument, saying that the Delhi High Court is already seized of the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the right to privacy is a fundamental right and they cannot compromise with the privacy of people.
The top court directed WhatsApp and Facebook to file their statement contesting the contentions in the present application.
The Chief Justice told WhatsApp counsel that people think if a message is sent from a person to another and then to a third person, the whole thing is disclosed to Facebook.
As counsel contended that this is not happening, Chief Justice Bobde disagreed, saying that they are telling information heard and read through news reports, and if WhatsApp disagrees, it should clarify this on oath.
After a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court issued notices to WhatsApp, Facebook and the Centre in the matter and fixed for further hearing after four weeks.