This article on ‘Competition Commission of India: All You Need to Know’ is written by an intern at Legal Upanishad.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established in March 2009 by the Government of India under the Competition Act 2002. It is an expert body that regulates anti-competition practices. CCI is the chief national competition regulator in India. It is a statutory body in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It is responsible for enforcing the principles of the Competition Act 2002, so there is the promotion of competition and prevention of activities that has a bad effect on competition in India.
The Competition Commission of India has its headquarters in New Delhi, and its current chairperson is Ashok Kumar Gupta. The competition commission was established under the competition act 2002 for-
- Implementation of the act
The objectives of the competition commission of India are as follows-
- Preventing policies and practices which have a bad effect on constructive competition in the economy.
- promoting and helping in maintaining sustainable healthy competition in the market.
- Supervise the interest of the consumers.
- Act in creating awareness and supports fair competition practices.
- Ensuring freedom of trade.
Role of Competition Commission of India
The development of the economy and the positive progress of the country is of utmost importance. This can be achieved by avoiding unfair competition practices and promoting constructive competition as stated in the preamble of the Competition Act. Now to achieve it, the following practices are followed by CCI-
- Ensuring that the economic activities are promoting fair competition in the market so that there is growth and progress fairly.
- Making sure that the market works for the benefit of the customer as the welfare of the customer is kept the highest priority.
- Ensuring interaction and cooperation with the other regulating authorities in the economy. Thus making certain that the sectoral regulatory laws are agreeable with the competition laws.
- Another important role is to carry out advocacy about competition and competition laws. Educating ministers, regulators, state government and other government authorities about the modern concepts and policies of the competition, thus making them aware and up to date. Workshops, seminars, publishing papers, etc are conducted for it.
- The aim is to ensure and promote the best possible utilization of resources by embracing proper policies so competition practices and policies of the Competition Act are implemented.
The competition Act 2002 was enacted by the parliament of India and it has jurisdiction over is entire territory of India. It came into force replacing The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, of 1969. Under it, the Competition Commission of India was established to prevent activities that harm competition in India.
Sections 8 of the Competition Act
Composition of Commission. —
(1) The Commission would have one Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six other Members who would be appointed by the Central Government.
(2) The Chairperson and every other Member shall have the required ability, integrity and standing and also needs to have special knowledge along with professional experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs or competition matters, including competition law and policy, which in the opinion of the Central Government, may be useful to the Commission.
(3) The Chairperson and other Members shall be whole-time Members.
Section 9 of the Competition Act 2002
The Chairperson along with other members of the Commission would be appointed by the Central Government from a panel of names as recommended by a Selection Committee. The Selection Committee consists of-
- Chief justice of India or his nominee – Chairperson
- Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs – Member
- Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice – Member
- Two reputed experts having special knowledge and professional experience in the field of international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs or competition matters including competition law and policy – Member
The term of the Selection Committee and the manner of selection of the panel of names shall be such as may be prescribed.
Appeal to The Decision
The CCI first investigate properly before passing any decision. However, if a party is aggrieved, he can file a complaint. The complaint needs to be filed in the Supreme Court within 60 days from the date of communication of the decision or order of the Commission. No appeal against any order or decision would be entertained which is made with mutual consent of the parties.
Any person failing to fail to follow the orders or direction of the Commission shall be punished with a fine which may extend to 1 lakh rupees each day during which such non-compliance occurs. This may exceed a maximum of 10 crores. Failure to follow the directions issued, or failing to pay the fine imposed under this section, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which will extend to three years, or with a fine which may extend to ₹ 25 crores or with both.
Section 44 provides that if any Individual, being a party to a combination makes a statement which is false in any material particular or knowing it to be false or omits to state any material particular knowing it to be material, such person shall be liable to a penalty which shall not be less than ₹ 50 lakhs but which may extend to ₹ 1 crore.
- Namrata Marketing Pvt. Ltd. vs Competition Commission Of India- The petitioners were bidders in this slump sale. There was the allegation that in the impugned slump sale, bid-rigging was involved. The Competition Commission of India based on the Report has suo moto looked into the matter. On being satisfied with the existence of a prima facie case, the investigation started. The petitioner was asked to submit certain information. The Petitioners have requested for extension of time. The Director-General persisted in the information and passed an order notice under Section 41(2) read with Section 36(2) of the Competition Act 2002. The Petitioners have therefore come before this Court to quash the order of the DG and to seek the CCI to keep the proceedings in respect of the petitioner in abeyance till SC decides on the validity of the UP Sugar Undertaking Act. The Court concludes by looking at the evidence that the Commission has relied on to conclude the existence of a prima facie case, finally, the court looked at the rights of the Petitioner at the stage of investigation by the Commission and if a Writ petition is maintainable at that stage and concludes it.
We need to appreciate the working of the Competition Act which maintains a fair market. It gives importance to us- The Buyers/Consumers. Fair markets have the potential to improve and give better services or products. It can negotiate agreements with any regulatory authority to coordinate and harmonize the exercise of jurisdiction over competition matters within the relevant industry or sector and ensure the consistent application of the principles of the Act. Faster education for people including the government and non-government servants is the suggestion that I would prescribe, the reason being many people have no idea about this act and commission.
Competition Commission of India does play an important role in securing the interest of consumers and ensuring that their welfare is not compromised. It also undertakes competition advocacy, creates public awareness and imparts training on competition issues along with ensuring smooth alignment of sectoral regulatory laws and competition laws.
- CCI ordered probe into Zomato and Swiggy.