‘Sorry, it can’t be done’, SC declines to modify order on Google’s plea

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea by Google seeking modification of the court’s January 19 order, and asked the tech giant to raise its objections before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

In January, the apex court had declined to entertain a plea by Google challenging an NCLAT order, which refused to stay operation of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing Rs 1,337.76 crore fine on the tech giant.

During the hearing on Friday, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, made it clear to senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Google, that no clarification is required in this matter.

Singh pressed that there is a need to add or clarify the January order.

The bench, also comprising justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, said the court would not make any changes and he can “go and argue everything before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal”.

The counsel for the Competition Commission of India (CCI) also opposed any changes to the order, saying there must be no interference with its operative part. The bench said the order was dictated in an open court and there was no point in modifying it.

The bench told Singh, “Sorry, it can’t be done. We will not do it.”

The CCI counsel said the appeal of Google LLC is listed for hearing next week before the NCLAT and they can raise these issues before it.

In its January 19 order, the top court had granted a week’s time to Google to deposit 10 per cent of Rs 1,337 crore penalty imposed on it by the CCI.

The top court had said that the findings of the CCI cannot be regarded as contrary to the weight of the record, at the interlocutory stage.

In the January 19 order, the top court had added that at the present stage, since the appeal is pending before NCLAT, “we are desisting from entering a finding on the merits of the rival submissions which have been urged on behalf of the contesting parties”.

“Any expression of opinion of this court on the merits would affect the proceedings which are pending before the NCLAT. It would suffice to note that the findings which have been arrived at by the CCI cannot be held at the interlocutory stage to be either without jurisdiction or suffering from a manifest error which would have necessitated interference in appeal,” the top court said in its order.

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