Supreme Court stays order for probe against Flipkart
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the March 4 order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) asking fair trade regulator CCI to initiate a probe against e-commerce major Flipkart for an alleged use of its dominant position.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde issued notices to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) for their response on the appeal filed by Flipkart challenging the NCLAT order.
“In the meantime, there shall be a stay on the operation of the impugned order,” the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said after briefly hearing senior advocate Harish Salve representing Flipkart.
Salve told the court that the NCLAT had passed an erroneous order directing a probe against Flipkart as neither was the e-commerce major in a dominant position as alleged nor was there any prima facie finding of abuse of the said dominant position.
On March 4, NCLAT had asked the CCI to initiate a fresh probe against Flipkart on the basis of a complaint lodged by the online vendors accusing it of abusing its dominant position and indulging in unfair trade practices detrimental to their interests.
The NCLAT had passed the impugned order after setting aside an order passed by the CCI which on the basis of an earlier complaint from AIOVA had ruled that there was no abuse of dominant position. The AIOVA had alleged that Flipkart was using its dominant position to eat into the sales of smaller e-commerce players who are into different online trades of computers, accessories, books, mobiles etc by offering huge discounts and other unfair trade practices. Ends