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NCLAT to take up hearing of Micromax, Karbonn appeals today

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will on Friday take up substantive hearing of appeals from Micromax Informatics and Karbonn challenging a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order related to the Android platform case.

After some procedural hearing on Thursday, both appeals were listed for Friday for substantive hearing. The defects in the appeals have been cured and the delay condoned by the tribunal. The arguments on admission will happen on Friday.

At the NCLAT hearing on Thursday, the appellants submitted that they have each filed affidavits containing an apology for making erroneous submissions to the court on January 4 on the number and nature of defects marked by the registry in the appeals.

The NCLAT competition bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Member (Judicial), and Alok Srivastava, Member (Technical), noted that the affidavits were necessitated by the appellant’s submission during the January 4 hearing that only a single defect regarding non-inclusion of the exact period in the application for condonation of delay, filed along with the appeals.

However, it was subsequently noticed by the court prior to, and during the hearing on January 10 that the submission made on January 4 was wrong as there were several other defects in the appeals that needed to be cured.

The NCLAT had re-listed the matter for January 13.

It may be recalled that an uncanny similarity in the appeals filed by Micromax and Karbonn had raised the hackles of the NCLAT at the hearing on January 10.

‘Market abuse’
Micromax and Karbonn — Indian manufacturers of consumer electronics, including mobile phones — have appealed against the CCI order levying ₹1,337 crore penalty on tech giant Google for anti-competitive practices.

As Micromax and Karbonn were not party before CCI, the NCLAT bench hearing their appeals displayed its prima facie unwillingness to entertain their appeals. “Affordability and marketability concerns of the appellants will not suffice in terms of admissibility. Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, deals with market abuse and market dominance by a specific party and not everyone can challenge CCI’s order,” the bench observed during a brief hearing on the appeals on Tuesday, adding that an aggrieved party — that is, the penalised party, or a party before the CCI, or whose information was rejected — can approach the tribunal. The Hindu BusinessLine

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