Friday, January 6, 2023

Google will file a SC appeal of the NCLAT's CCI fine ruling

Google to move SC against NCLAT decision on CCI fine


Delhi, India: The Indian arm of the tech giant Google has decided to petition the Supreme Court to halt the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) decision to fine Google Rs 1,338 crore for unfair and anti-competitive Android mobile device practices.

Google will challenge the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's (NCLAT's) Wednesday order refusing to stay the CCI's October 20 "legally untenable" order slapping the penalty due to a "tainted investigation," top lawyers working on the special leave petition told TOI on Thursday.

As the investigation report on Google's alleged unfair business practices and anti-competition tactics was a product of the complainant doubling up as the investigator, vitiating the findings against the tech major, the lawyers claimed that the CCI order seriously violated the principles of natural justice.

As the NCLAT on Wednesday refused to stay the CCI decision to impose a penalty based on its own investigation report and directed Google to deposit 10% of the penalty amount within three weeks (by the end of January), the special leave petition is likely to be filed in the SC within this week.

Google's appeal has been accepted by the NCLAT, which has scheduled its final hearing for April 3. "The appeal is admitted subject to a deposit of 10% of the penalty amount," the NCLAT bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar and Alok Srivastava stated. Concerning the penalty, the appellant is instructed to deposit 10% of the amount due within three weeks of the second part of the order.

Even though the CCI issued the order on October 20 of the previous year, Google approached the tribunal on December 20 after two months, which is one of the main reasons why NCLAT did not grant a stay.

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