New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Social media WhatsApp on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it has "temporarily" put its contentious privacy policy on hold. Appearing for WhatsApp, senior advocate Harish Salve said that the new privacy policy will not be enforced till Data Protection Bill comes out.

Salve said that WhatsApp has also replied to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's notice, saying the social media giant "will not limit functionality for some time and continue to show users the updated".

"Centre feels the WhatsApp Privacy Policy is against I-T Rules 2011," Salve was quoted as saying by Bar and Bench. "We will maintain this approach until Data Protection Bill comes into force. We have voluntarily agreed to put the update on hold till then".

The arguments were made by WhatsApp during the hearing of a plea by the instant messaging platform and Facebook, challenging Competition Commission of India (CCI) inquiry against the new privacy policy.

During the hearing, Salve further said that CCI's inquiry was moot, adding that it cannot say anything if the Parliament allows him to share the data.

"The commitment is that I will not do anything till Parliamentary law comes. If Parliament allows me to have a separate policy for India, I will have it. If it doesn't, I will take a call," Bar and Bench quoted Salve as saying.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had refused to stay a notice of the CCI seeking details about the new privacy policy of WhatsApp.

"We would only urge the DG, CCI to bear in mind that investigation against the appellant is under judicial consideration before a Division Bench of this court," the court had said.

The single bench of Delhi High Court on April 22 had dismissed Facebook and WhatsApp pleas challenging a CCI order for an investigation into the messaging app's new privacy policy.

The petitioners had challenged the March 24 order passed by CCI directing a probe into the new privacy policy and the probe should be completed within 60 days. Facebook and WhatsApp said that since the issue of WhatsApp's privacy policy is being heard by the Supreme Court, High Court, therefore, there was no requirement of CCI to order the probe.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve and Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the petitioners and had told the court that CCI proceedings must be kept in abeyance as the matter is pending before Supreme Court and High Court.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi, who represented CCI in the matter, had earlier told the court that the matter is not of privacy but access to data and the Competition is going to deal with metadata.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma