Sr. Adv. Harish Salve appeared for WhatsApp, and argued that while the appeal is pending, the DG has issued notice, demanding information and response to certain queries. He added that related challenges are also pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. He further said that the DG’s demand for information within 15 days on notice, on pain of penalty, without awaiting a decision in the pending cases is an act of judicial overreach, which deserves to be restrained.
As mentioned earlier, along with an LPA challenging the order of the Single Judge Bench, WhatsApp had also moved an application seeking interim relief, whereby it had sought ex-parte ad-interim stay of operation of order dated 24.03.2021.
The Court said that “there is substantial overlap, in fact near identity” between both prayers, hence “we do not consider it appropriate to stay the operation of impugned order dated 04.06.2021, at this stage.”