A bench of Justices M R Shah and Sudhanshu Dhulia said CCI is an independent authority and the proceedings before it cannot be stopped, and junked the petitions against the Delhi high court judgment upholding the probe ordered by the chief national competition regulator.
“We’ve heard the counsel. No interference of this court is required to be called for. The CCI is an independent authority to consider any violation of the provisions of the Competition Act of 2002…The CCI cannot be dissuaded from investigation and alleged violation of Competition Act, 2002,” the bench held.
Any observation made by the high court should be considered as tentative/prima facie, the bench said.
Facebook India had approached the single judge bench after a division bench of the high court in August dismissed its impleadment application in a related matter and granted it liberty to challenge the CCI order by way of a separate writ petition.
Facebook India, the Indian subsidiary of US-based Facebook Inc (now known as Meta Platforms), had argued that the CCI has clubbed it in its ongoing investigation against Facebook Inc and WhatsApp even though it has not formed any prima facie opinion against it.