• Adding to a WhatsApp group without permission

Can person add anyone without their consent in a WhatsApp group? Is their any legal rule to prevent this?

There was a WhatsApp group of the society, where one member took all the contact details from this group and added them in another group without their consent. This includes female contact as well. Can we take some action against this?
Asked 3 months ago in Civil Law

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9 Answers

There is no rule for taking consent as such

The person can always mute the group or exit from it 

Playing the woman card will not help unless there is something in that group which tends to outrage the modesty of the woman or something which is inappropriate or vulgar or obscene 

Going to the court or to the police for merely adding in a WhatsApp group possibly to settle scores with the person who added the contacts and formed that group, is like abusing the process of the court 

Yusuf Rampurawala
Advocate, Mumbai
7359 Answers
79 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

According to the WhatsApp group privacy settings, you can choose who can add you to groups without your consent. You can select one of the three options: “Nobody”, “My Contacts”, or “Everyone”. If you select “Nobody”, no one will be able to add you to a group except through an invitation link, which you can accept or reject. If you select “My Contacts”, only people in your contact list will be able to add you to a group without an invitation link. If you select “Everyone”, anyone can add you to a group without your consent.

If someone has added you to a group without your permission, you can report the group to WhatsApp by following these steps:

  • Open the group chat.
  • Tap on the group subject.
  • Scroll down and tap Report Group.

This will send a report to WhatsApp and exit the group or block the admin.

As for the legal aspect of adding someone to a WhatsApp group without their consent, there is no clear law in India that prohibits this act. However, if the group is used for spreading false or defamatory information, harassing or threatening someone, or violating someone’s privacy, then it may attract legal action under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology (IT) Act.

For example, if someone creates a WhatsApp group and adds women without their consent and sends them obscene messages or images, then it may amount to outraging their modesty under Section 354A of the IPC or sending sexually explicit material under Section 67A of the IT Act. Similarly, if someone creates a WhatsApp group and adds people without their consent and spreads rumours or fake news that cause public disorder or communal violence, then it may amount to creating enmity between different groups under Section 153A of the IPC or sending offensive messages under Section 66A of the IT Act.

Therefore, depending on the nature and purpose of the WhatsApp group, adding someone without their consent may or may not be illegal in India. However, it is always advisable to respect the privacy and preferences of others and seek their permission before adding them to any group.


Muraleedharan R
Advocate, Trivandrum
373 Answers
2 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You can exit the group if you don’t want to be member 


2) ideally consent should be taken before adding you on what’s app group 


3) Tap Privacy > Groups. Select one of the following options: Everyone: Everyone, including people outside of your phone's address book contacts, can add you to groups without your approval. My contacts: Only contacts in your phone's address book can add you to groups without your approval.

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
93506 Answers
7253 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

At the time of adding your contact details,  you will be given an option to join or discard invitation. 

Nothing prevents you from refusing to join. 

However you can ask for explanation from the guy and this act of excess. 

If not satisfied with his reply,  you may ask him to remove your name from the group or give a complaint with the cyber crime police. 

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
83704 Answers
2057 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

There is no law for whatsapp groups but there can be terms and conditions which has to be agreed in advance of forming a group. Whatsapp comes under IT and Cyber law but there is no such provision mentioned in your query


Neyha Chaudhary
Advocate, Gurgaon
9 Answers

Not rated

Just block the person and group. You can also report the matter to police for harassment, stalking etc. 

Siddharth Srivastava
Advocate, Delhi
1179 Answers

5.0 on 5.0

There is no legal rule but it is invading the privacy 

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
31071 Answers
162 Consultations

4.1 on 5.0

- The Govt of India has asked to WhatsApp for introducing a feature seeking consent of users before adding them to any groups , however presently there is no such law for the same. 

- However, Section 66A of the IT Act, prohibits the sending of offensive messages though a communication device.

- This covers, offensive messages of a menacing character, or a message that the sender knows to be false but is sent for the purpose of ‘causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will.

- The person who booked under Section 66A could face up to 3 years of imprisonment along with a fine.

- Hence, the woman can block the group for rejecting proposal of group. 

Mohammed Shahzad
Advocate, Delhi
12521 Answers
172 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Client
There were no specific Indian laws that directly addressed the act of adding someone to a WhatsApp group without their consent. However, this situation may involve several legal considerations:

Privacy Concerns: Adding someone to a WhatsApp group without their consent may raise privacy concerns, especially if personal contact information is shared without permission. This could potentially be seen as an invasion of privacy, and individuals may have the right to take legal action if they believe their privacy has been violated.

Cyberbullying or Harassment: If the addition to the group is part of a pattern of harassment, cyberbullying, or stalking, it may be possible to pursue legal action under the Information Technology Act, 2000, or other relevant laws.

WhatsApp Policies: WhatsApp has its own policies regarding group creation and membership. Violating these policies could result in the user's account being restricted or banned. WhatsApp allows group admins to control who can join their groups, so individuals who have been added without consent can leave the group themselves.

Consent: Consent is a fundamental principle in privacy and data protection. If someone's personal information, including their phone number, is being shared without their consent, it may be a breach of their privacy rights.

To address this situation, individuals who have been added to the group without their consent can take the following steps:

Leave the Group: WhatsApp allows users to leave groups they do not want to be part of. Simply tap on the group, go to Group Info, and choose the "Exit Group" option.

Report to WhatsApp: Users can report the issue to WhatsApp by using the in-app reporting feature, which can be found in the group settings.

Consult Legal Counsel: If the situation escalates and individuals believe their privacy has been violated or they are being harassed, they should consider consulting with a legal professional to explore potential legal actions based on existing laws related to privacy, harassment, or cyberbullying.

Anik Miu
Advocate, Bangalore
8095 Answers
97 Consultations

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