PUTRAJAYA – The Federal Court has dismissed an application by the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to get leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal’s decision which allowed Grab Holdings Inc and its subsidiaries to commence a judicial review to challenge the Commission’s proposed imposition of RM86.77 million fine on them.
The decision was made by a three-member panel of judges comprising Justices Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan who heard submissions from the parties in the leave application.
Following the decision, the judicial review brought by Grab Holdings, MyTeksi Sdn Bhd and GrabCar Sdn Bhd would be heard by the High Court on its merits.
In delivering the court’s decision, Justice Nallini said the issue before the court was whether the proposed decision (to impose the fine) issued under Section 36 of the Competition Act 2010 is amenable to a judicial review.
“While that is a question of law that can be answered at this juncture, or after the judicial review in the High Court, given the factual matrix of this case, and the length of time that had elapsed, we are of the view that it is correct that the matter be disposed of in its entirety in the High Court,” she said.
Justice Nallini said this is with the express directions of this court that MyCC is given the liberty to raise the amenability and jurisdictional issues in the High Court.
She also ordered MyCC to pay costs of RM30,000.
In today’s proceedings conducted online, MyCC’s lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram urged the court to allow his client’s application for leave to appeal as the proposed decision by MyCC to impose a fine on Grab and its subsidiaries was not amendable to judicial review.
He said the Court of Appeal did not consider that the Competition Act already prescribed an internal process that must be exhausted relating to the proposed decision under Section 36 of the Competition Act.
Lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, representing Grab Holdings and its subsidiaries objected to the leave to appeal application.
He said the High Court should hear and decide the companies’ judicial review application on its merits.
Grab Holdings and its two subsidiaries sought leave to initiate a judicial review to challenge MyCC’s proposed decision dated Sept 23, 2019, to fine the companies.
However, in February 2020, the High Court dismissed Grab Holdings’ application as it deemed the move premature given that the proposed decision was not yet final.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal, on April 19, last year, granted leave to the three companies to commence a judicial review. This prompted MyCC to file an application in the Federal Court for leave to appeal. – Bernama