A two-judge Bench of the Delhi High Court rejected the petition on September 23rd 2016. The Court, however, directed WhatsApp to delete the data, until September 25th 2016, of users who choose to delete the application.
Thereafter, the petitioners filed a Special Leave Petition at the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgment. The SLP was initially heard by a Division Bench and referred to a Constitution Bench on April 5th, 2017.
Union seeks to Postpone Hearings, Petitioners Stress Urgency
Sr. Adv. Kapil Sibal, representing WhatsApp, & Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Union, suggested that the matter be heard after The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 is introduced at Parliament.
Mr. Sibal claimed that the Bill will solve a lot of the issues raised by the petitioners. He stated that the Bill will be introduced at Parliament during the second half of the current session, beginning on March 13th, 2023.
Sr. Adv. Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, argued that their petition was independent. It could not be postponed based on the possibility that the Bill may resolve the issues raised in the petition.
The Bench is expected to hear the parties again on February 1st 2023.