IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (PUBL).... Petitioner
Through Mr. C.S. Vaidyanathan and
Mrs. Pratibha M. Singh, Senior Advocates with Mr. Anand Pathak, Mr. Ravi
Nair, Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Mr. Shivanghi Sukumar, Mr. Akshay Nanda, Mr. B.
Prashant Kumar, Mr. Arjun Mukherjee, Mr. Arjun Khera, Ms. Saya Chaudhary
and Mr. Archit Virmani, Advocates
COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA and ANR. ... Respondents
Through Mr. Sidharth Luthra, ASG with
Mr. Pankaj Seth and Mr. Arjun Dewan, Advocates for R-1/CCI.
Dr. Satyaprakash, Director (Law) and Mr. Sukesh Mishra, Joint Director
Mr. Balbir Singh with Mr. Vaibhav Gaggar, Mr. Aaditya Vijaykumar, Ms.
Aparna Iyer, Ms. Monica Benjamin and Mr. K. Kunal Sabharwal, Advocates
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN
O R D E R
Cav. 144/2014 in W.P(C) 1006/2014
Since the caveator has already put in appearance, the caveat
petition stands disposed of.
CM Appl. 2038/2014 in W.P.(C) 1006/2014
CM Appl. 2040/2014 in W.P.(C) 1006/2014
Allowed, subject to just exceptions.
W.P.(C) 1006/2014 and CM Appl. 2037/2014
Present writ petition has been filed primarily challenging the
orders dated 28th November, 2013 and 16th January, 2014 passed by
respondent no. 1-Competition Commission of India (for short
Mr. Pankaj Seth, Advocate accepts notice on behalf of respondent no.
1-Commission. Mr. Balbir Singh, Advocate accepts notice on behalf of
respondent no. 2.
Mr. C.S. Vaidyanathan, learned senior counsel appearing for
petitioner submits that the respondent no.1-Commission has no
jurisdiction to investigate the action of the petitioner inasmuch as the
Patent Act itself provides adequate mechanism to balance the rights of
patentee and other stakeholders. In support of his submission, he relies
upon Sections 3(5)(i) and 62 of the Competition Act, 2002.
Mr. Vaidyanathan points out that respondent no. 2 has already filed
five applications before Intellectual Property Appellate Board seeking
revocation of petitioner?s patents. He states that the said fact has
been suppressed from the Commission.
Mr. Vaidyanathan also refers to the prayer clause of the petition
filed by respondent no.2 and states that respondent no. 1 can neither
entertain nor grant any of the reliefs.
Mr. Vaidyanathan points out that Commission in the impugned order
dated 16th January, 2014 has referred to and relied upon an earlier order
passed by it In Re: Micromax Informatics Limited Vs. Telefonaktiebolaget
LM Ericsson (Publ), Case No. 50/2013 against which a writ petition was
filed, wherein this Court has already passed an interim order on 21st
Mr. Vaidyanathan also contends that the Commission has rejected
petitioner?s request for treating four documents filed by respondent no.
2 as confidential, contrary to Commission?s own earlier order dated 15th
Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned Additional Solicitor General appearing
for respondent no. 1-Commission submits that by virtue of Section 32 of
Competition Act, 2002, Commission has jurisdiction to even investigate an
agreement or abuse of dominant position by a party outside India. Learned ASG draws this Court?s attention to a judgment of Supreme Court
in Competition Commission of India vs. Steel Authority of India Limited
and Another, (2010) 10 SCC 744 wherein it has been held that an order
passed under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 is an
administrative order and an aggrieved party has a right to challenge it
at Section 26(7) stage.
Mr. Luthra also relies upon a judgment of the Supreme Court in
Sanapareddy Maheedhar Seshagiri and Another Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh
and Another, (2007) 13 SCC 165 wherein it has been held as under:-
?31. A careful reading of the abovenoted judgments makes it clear that
the High Court should be extremely cautious and slow to interfere with
the investigation and/or trial of criminal cases and should not stall the
investigation and/or prosecution except when it is convinced beyond any
manner of doubt that FIR does not disclose commission of any offence or
that the allegations contained in FIR do not constitute any cognizable
offence or that the prosecution is barred by law or the High Court is
convinced that it is necessary to interfere to prevent abuse of the
process of the Court. In dealing with such cases, the High Court has to
bear in mind that judicial intervention at the threshold of the legal
process initiated against a person accused of committing offence is
highly detrimental to the larger public and societal interest. The people
and the society have a legitimate expectation that those committing
offences either against an individual or the society are expeditiously
brought to trial and, if found guilty, adequately punished. Therefore,
while deciding a petition filed for quashing FIR or complaint or
restraining the competent authority from investigating the allegations
contained in FIR or complaint or for stalling the trial of the case, the
High Court should be extremely careful and circumspect. If the
allegations contained in FIR or complaint disclose commission of some
crime, then the High Court must keep its hands off and allow the
investigating agency to complete the investigation without any fetter and
also refrain from passing order which may impede the trial. The High
Court should not go into the merits and demerits of the allegations
simply because the petitioner alleges malus animus against the author of
FIR or the complainant. The High Court must also refrain from making
imaginary journey in the realm of possible harassment which may be caused
to the petitioner on account of investigation of FIR or complaint. Such a
course will result in miscarriage of justice and would encourage those
accused of committing crimes to repeat the same. However, if the High
Court is satisfied that the complaint does not disclose commission of any
offence or prosecution is barred by limitation or that the proceedings of
criminal case would result in failure of justice, then it may exercise
inherent power under Section 482 CrPC.?
Mr. Luthra also places reliance upon the order passed by High Court
of Bombay in W.P.(C) 1785/2009, Kingfisher Airlines Limited vs.
Competition Commission of India.
Mr. Balbir Singh, learned counsel for respondent no. 2 refers to
observation of the Commission in paragraph nos. 15, 16 and 17 to submit
that the case falls under Section 4 and not Section 3 of the Competition
Having heard learned counsel for the parties and having perused the paper book, this Court is prima facie of the view that a substantial
question of jurisdiction of respondent no. 1-Commission to entertain
respondent no. 2?s petition arises in the present proceedings.
This Court is further of the view that judgment of the Supreme Court
in Sanapareddy Maheedhar Seshagiri and Another (supra) has no relevance
to the present case, as in the aforesaid case proceedings arose under the
criminal law and it is a settled law that proceedings before an
authority/tribunal can be stayed in writ proceedings even at the
inception stage if they are prima facie without jurisdiction.
Upon a perusal of the impugned orders dated 28th November, 2013 and
16th January, 2014, this Court is also prima facie of the view that the
Commission has entered into an adjudicatory and determinative process by
recording detailed and substantial reasoning at the Section 26(1) stage
itself. In fact, by virtue of the impugned order, this Court is prima
facie of the view that, even though the Commission in the penultimate
paragraph has stated that the impugned order shall not tantamount to a
final expression of opinion on merit of the case, the petitioner?s remedy
under Section 26(7) has been rendered illusory.
Consequently, present petition is tagged with W.P.(C) 464/2014 and
is directed to be listed on 26th May, 2014 before Joint Registrar for
completion of pleadings. Till the next date of hearing, while the
petitioner may give information as called upon by the Director General of
Commission, no final order/report shall be passed either by the
Commission or by its Director General.
Though the Director General of Commission is free to call any local
officer of the petitioner for investigation purposes, but no officer
stationed abroad shall be called without taking specific leave of this
It is also made clear that the observations made by the Commission
shall not come in the way of the petitioner negotiating with third
parties or in the adjudication of the proceedings filed by either of the
parties in this Court. Further, documents referred to in the order dated
28th November, 2013 may be used by the Commission for its investigation
purpose, but shall not be disclosed/released to any third party.
FEBRUARY 17, 2014
W.P.(C) 1006/2014 Page 6 of 6