Benglauru, NFAPost News Service: On second day, the hearing remained continued in Bangalore High Court over petition of Amazon seeking stay on the direction ordered by Competition Commission of India (CCI) for investigation into business model of Amazon and Flipkart.
Meanwhile, the Court allowed impleadment application of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue tomorrow when Counsel of Flipkart will argue the case and finally the Counsel of CAIT will put forth his arguments.
Senior Counsel Harish Narasappa appearing for CCI strongly objected the jurisdiction point raised by Amazon and said that Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution does not intervene in the investigations of the CCI Director General under order of CCI.
He further said that this policy is made by Central Government and read out the Consolidated FDI Policy 2017 in the Court and referred to point 3.7 and 3.7.1 of the policy which states that merely satisfying FDI does not exempt from other laws of land and FDI policy reflects only sources of inflow of money into the country. The impugned order of CCI does not question the FDI policy, it is only concerned with practices carried on by the Petitioners Amazon.
He referred various cases to state that petition filed under section 226 before this court cannot influence the order passed under section 26 (1) of the Competition Act and further 26(1) does not create any civil consequences.
The order under section 26 (1) does not affect the rights of others. It is only a departmental order and not Quasi Judicial order. Any right not created by the statute , cannot be demanded by the petitioner.
He replied that in the previous argument by the Petitioners section 26 (2) was read and mentioned about appealable orders but in this case the Court need to refer to section 26 (1).CCI has discretion to call for certain cases for investigation and WP cannot challenge it.Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, states that investigation can be ordered if prima facie case exists.Market report on E- Commerce was referred by the Petitioners but this report can be referred for determining the pros and cons of E- Commerce market. The same cannot be applied to the facts of this case. This report cannot be relied upon as facts differs from case to case-argued Mr. Harish Narasappa
Senior Counsel K.G.Raghvan who appeared on behalf of Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh argued that issues of FDI violations and competition law violations can be looked at by respective authorities without the competition commission having to wait for the investigation by ED into Amazon/Flipkart’s alleged FDI violations.
“The duties of the CCI as the sole regulator for competition in India was brought to the notice of the bench and it was stressed that as healthy competition in the market involved a substantial question of public interest, an order passed for merely investigating into Amazon/Flipkart’s alleged anti competitive conduct should not be stayed. The CCI has ordered the investigation under the powers vested on it by virtue of Competition Law and there can not be overlapping by different statutes, therefore, the petition of the Amazon has no merit and ground and needs to be rejecte,” argued Senior Counsel K G Raghvan.
Other Advocates who represented DVM include Abir Roy and Ishaan Chakrabarti. CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal while commenting upon day’s proceedings in the Court said that Amazon is making a futile attempt to stay the process of the law without any merit .
“We have full trust and confidence on the Judiciary which will take note of the fact that Amazon merely attempting to de-rail the investigation of CCI. Time and again Amazon has made public statement that it is complying both FDI policy and other laws and if its true then why Amazon is shying away from the investigation but its a matter of fact that the investigation will reveal the whole game plan of Amazon for undertaking unhealthy business practices and its mandate to control and dominate both e commerce and retail trade of India,” said Praveen Khandelwal.