Delhi HC reserves order on WhatsApp, Facebook pleas against CCI probe
Earlier, the CCI counsel said, "we are presently not able to move forward with the investigation as the matter is being examined by this court." Earlier in the hearing, the Bench noted that the Data Protection Bill is yet to be finalised by the respondents/Centre while granting time to WhatsApp and Facebook to file their response over the notice issued to them by CCI and sought several details from them.
The court also extended the interim order granted to the appellant earlier by the court. Earlier, senior advocate Harish Salve appeared for WhatsApp LLC and informed the court that "We are insisting to file response on CCI notices despite the matter being pending before the courts and under judicial consideration."
WhatsApp was sent a notice on June 4, 2021, while Facebook was sent a notice on June 8, 2021, by CCI seeking information and response to certain queries. Earlier, the Delhi HC urged the Director General and CCI to bear in mind that the investigation against the appellant (WhatsApp and Facebook) is under judicial consideration before a Division Bench of this court.
The bench also stated, "In our view, there is no doubt that the issuance of impugned notice by the DG is a step in furtherance of the investigation commenced in Suo-Motu case, which investigation is the subject matter of the challenge in the present LPA." "...we do not consider it appropriate to stay the operation of impugned notice dated June 4, 2021, at this stage..." said Delhi High Court Bench had said.
Senior advocate Harish Salve and former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the petitioners and told the court that CCI proceedings must be kept in abeyance as the matter is pending before Supreme Court and High Court. Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who represented CCI in the matter, had earlier told the court that the matter is not of privacy but access to data and the CCI is going to deal with metadata. (ANI)
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