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SC to hear on Jan 18 plea of Google against NCLAT order

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear on January 18 a plea of US tech giant Google against an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) refusing an interim stay on the competition regulator imposing a Rs 1,337 crore penalty on it. The NCLAT, on January 4, had refused an interim stay on an order of the competition regulator and had asked Google to deposit 10 percent of the amount.

The NCLAT admitted the search giant’s challenge to the CCI slapping a Rs 1,337.76 crore fine for abusing the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system in the country.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and J B Pardiwala asked senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the US firm, to clarify on Wednesday if Google India practices the same regime in place in India as it has in Europe.

“Please reflect on this and come back. We will hear this case on Wednesday,” the bench said.

Singhvi had earlier mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing.

The senior lawyer said that extraordinary directions have been passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the order has to be complied by January 19.

The CCI, in October last year, had asked Google to allow smartphone users on the Android platform to uninstall apps and let them select a search engine of their choice.

That order was to become effective from January 19.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. PTI

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