BENGALURU: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a plea by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) seeking removal of a Karnataka high court interim order that paused its probe against Amazon India and Flipkart. The apex court has now directed the Karnataka HC to decide on the plea in the next six weeks. The Supreme Court will only review the CCI plea again if the matter is not addressed at the HC within this timeframe.
CCI had ordered a probe in January against Flipkart and Amazon India following complaints from trade bodies Confederation of All India Traders and Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh. These included allegations of the two largest e-tailers in India practising deep discounts, and having favourable terms for select sellers.
The regulator had said it had “prima facie” evidence to begin a probe under Section 26
(1). Amazon India first challenged the matter where its rival Flipkart was a party to it and both of them submitted in the Karnataka HC that CCI did not have adequate prima facie evidence to start such a probe. The HC then granted the interim stay on the probe in February. The apex court reportedly questioned the delay on CCI’s side to file the plea only in September.