GooglePay in Violation of NPCI Directives, Plea in Delhi High Court Demands Suspension

The Delhi High Court heard a petition against GooglePay on May 15, 2020. Shubham Kapaley filed a petition in the High Court after GooglePay did not allow him to contribute to the PM CARES Fund; without making another VPA/UPI ID on its app. However, the issue of denial of interoperability continued when the petitioner pursued to use his already existing VPA/UPI ID for other transactions. The petition sought immediate action against GooglePay and suspension of its operation; for purportedly not allowing UPI interoperability.

Earlier, in January 2017, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) issued a circular authorizing an interoperable, and accessible payment service by giving a choice to users to transact using their existing IDs. Therefore, the petitioner contended GooglePay acted in violation of the Circular issued. Notably, in violation of the Circular, the petitioner seeks suspension of GooglePay operation; along with investigation to check for compliance of every directive, guidelines issued by NPCI and RBI. In addition, the petitioner not only seeks penal action but also an imposition of a “hefty penalty” of at least 10 times the revenue of GooglePay. The Petitioner suggested that the fine be transferred towards the COVID-19 Relief Fund in India.

Taking note of the contentions, the single-bench of Justice Asha Menon issued notice to the respondents. Notably, Central Government, Reserve Bank of India, Google India Digital Service and others. Further, the Court has granted three weeks’ time to GooglePay and others to file their response to the plea. The High Court will list the matter for hearing after completion of pleadings.