I’m For Facebook, No, Wait, You Are: Kapil Sibal-Mukul Rohatgi Banter

Kapil Sibal said he was appearing for WhatsApp after which Mukul Rohatgi was taken aback

New Delhi:

In the Delhi High Court today, an exchange between top lawyers revealed confusion that was almost comical during a hearing on WhatsApp’s controversial new privacy policy.

The court said today that the social messaging app was “voluntary” and people could choose not to use or join the platform if they did not agree with its terms and conditions.

But in a sidebar, two lawyers argued over who was representing WhatsApp and who was appearing for Facebook, which owns the messaging app.

“I’m appearing for WhatsApp,” said Mukul Rohtagi.

To which, Kapil Sibal said: “I’m appearing for WhatsApp. You’re appearing for Facebook.”

Mr Rohatgi, taken aback, said: “Really? I thought it was the other way round…”


That is when the judge, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, cut in and said: “Both of you need to share some data on who is appearing for whom.”

A petitioner has challenged WhatsApp’s new policy, saying it allows full access into a user’s online activity without any supervision by the government.

The lawyer appearing for the petitioner claimed that the option to reject the changes and still use WhatsApp was given to users in European nations, but not in India.

WhatsApp and Facebook, represented by Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, told the court that the plea was not maintainable and many of the issues raised in it were without any foundation.

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