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Confidential report leak being alleged by Google is not from CCI, body tells Delhi HC

·3 min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Monday denied leaking of any confidential reports as alleged by Google LLC through a plea in Delhi High Court and said no confidential report is leaked.

CCI through Senior Advocate N Venkataraman told Court that the leak being alleged by Google is not from the CCI and no confidential information regarding the investigation has been leaked from the commission.

A bench of Justice Rekha Palli took on record the statement made by CCI and said nothing survived in the matter.

The court while disposing of the matter granted liberty to Google to approach the Delhi High Court in case of any further leak in the media on confidential aspects of the investigation.

Earlier, Senior Advocate N Venkataraman appeared for CCI in the matter had said that Google should sue media houses that published "so-called confidential reports" in case of any damages.

"We strongly condemn the accusations levelled by Google on a government body. There is no single evidence that we have done it," submitted the Senior Advocate.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Google LLC and submitted that CCI is regularly leaking reports, a protective order is needed, there is a direct leakage of the confidential report, which is against the rules.

"This is happening habitually, then what is the need for this confidentiality requirement? There is a complete denial of natural justice," Singhvi added.

Senior Advocate Arun Kathapalia also appeared along with Singhvi for Google who is the petitioner in the matter.

Tech Gaint Google last week filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court alleging a confidential interim fact-finding report submitted by the Director General's office to the Competition Commission of India relating to an ongoing investigation into Google's Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media.

Google in a press statement stated that, on September 18, 2021, a confidential interim fact-finding report was submitted by the Director General's office to the Competition Commission of India relating to an ongoing investigation into Google's Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media. Google has not yet received or reviewed this confidential report, the statement stated.

Commenting on the petition with the high court, a Google spokesperson said, "We are deeply concerned that the Director General's Report, which contains our confidential information in an ongoing case, was leaked to the media while in the CCI's custody."

Google spokesperson statement further stated that protecting confidential information is fundamental to any governmental investigation, and "we are pursuing our legal right to seek redress and prevent any further unlawful disclosures. We cooperated fully and maintained confidentiality throughout the investigative process, and we hope and expect the same level of confidentiality from the institutions we engage with. "

The DG's findings do not reflect the final decision of the CCI and the submission of the investigation report is an interim procedural step. Google has not yet had the opportunity to review the DG's findings, much less submit its defence of any allegations, the statement read. (ANI)

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