Whatsapp privacy policy: Stay CCI notice on privacy policy: FB, WhatsApp to HC

NEW DELHI: Facebook and WhatsApp on Monday urged the Delhi high court to stay the Competition Commission of India (CCI) notice asking them to furnish certain information in relation to a probe ordered by it into the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy.
A vacation bench of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh said it will pass an order on the application. During the hearing, the bench said since it was sitting on a vacation bench, it didn’t want to delve into the merits of the matter even as the main petitions are pending before a bench headed by the chief justice. “We will pass an order. The matter will be listed on July 9 (the date already fixed for the main petitions),” it said.
The case relates to the appeals of Facebook and WhatsApp against a single judge order dismissing their pleas against the probe CCI ordered into the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy. The high court had earlier issued notices on the appeals and asked the Centre to respond to it.
In their fresh applications filed in the pending appeals, Facebook and WhatsApp sought stay on the CCI’s June 4 notice asking them to furnish certain information for the purpose of inquiry conducted by it.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing WhatsApp, said the problem is that they have received a fresh notice on June 4 and the last date to respond is June 21. He said the privacy policy is already under challenge in the Supreme Court and the Delhi HC by way of a batch of petitions and even the government is looking into it. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Facebook, said the question here is of propriety and it is not correct as the highest court of the country, that is, the SC is looking into the matter. Additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi, representing CCI, opposed the pleas saying at the stage of inquiry furnishing of information will not lead to any order by the CCI and the notice is in pursuance to the inquiry which was not stayed by the high court and that this not the first notice issued to them.
When the court asked what was the hurry of issuing notice by CCI, Lekhi said the question was not of hurry but the matter itself requires a lengthy process.

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