The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on January 16 an appeal of Google against the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) refusal to stay the Rs. 1,337.76 crore penalty imposed on the technology giant by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive practices.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said it would hear the case on Monday.
Pleading for the urgent hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing Google, said, “Extraordinary directions passed by CCI. I am asking (listing of the case) for Friday. The compliance date (of the order) is 19th otherwise the matter will become infructuous.”
“We will keep it on Monday,” said the bench.
After facing a setback at NCLAT, which refused to stay the CCI order, Google approached the Supreme Court. The CCI had, in October 2022, imposed the penalty on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem and also directed the technology giant to cease and desist from participating in anti-competitive practices.
Google has challenged the January 4 order of the NCLAT which refused to stay the CCI order reasoning that the CCI’s order was passed in October 2022, while the appeal by Google was filed only in December 2022, and hence, no case for interim relief was made out.
Since no urgency was shown in filing the appeal, Google could not be allowed to insist on the interim relief, the Tribunal has said.
NCLAT has also directed Google to deposit 10 per cent of the Rs. 1,337.76 crore fine amount within three weeks.
Google challenged the CCI order in the NCLAT, which is an appellate authority over the CCI against any direction issued by the regulator.