Delhi High Court ignores to stop CCI notice to WhatsApp, Facebook

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The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the notice published by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook looking for definite information concerning its inquiry into the messaging platform’s new privacy policy. On Monday, the High Court (HC) had booked its order in the affairs. And it stated that the division bench embracing justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh, while ignoring to obstruct at this stage, and pointed out that there is no uncertainty that the circulation of questioned notice by the director-general investigation of CCI is a move in the advancement of the investigation started in the suo motu case, in which the inspection is a content of the challenge in an appeal.

The High court stated that they do not appraise it suitable to stay the operation of impugned questioned notice of June 4, 2021, at this stage. Although it was approved, the Director-General, Competition Commission of India to support in its mind that the inspection against the appellant is under judicial thought before a division bench of this court and the affair would be taken by the regular bench on July 9.

Then the vacation bench also pointed out that the decision was taken by additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi that the circulation of a notice on June 4 was superbly in assent with the process regarded under the regulation for taking further and continuing investigation. 

The Additional Solicitor General of India(ASG) pointed out that the notice has not been stayed by the division bench and it would take a considerable time for making of a report as stated in the receipt of the information called for by method of the impugned notice that is which the report would thereafter be advanced to the CCI and he added that the preparation of the report would not be finished at least before the after the date of hearing before the regular bench on July 9.

The high court appears to be taking a balanced attitude in this case. While on the other hand, the HC has not been convinced by the petitioners in seeking a stay on giving information to the DG. The partner of Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys Charanya Lakshmikumaran pointed out that at this stage, it appears that WhatsApp will have to cooperate with the DG investigation. Still, the order seems to indicate that some conservation has been increased to Facebook, Whatsapp with regards to any autocratic action by the CCI/DG until the next date of hearing.

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