Competition Act may be amended

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 28 June 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The company affairs ministry has recommended to the Cabinet that the Competition Act be amended and has called for setting up an appellate tribunal over and above the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to hear all adjudicatory matters.

CCI, with curtailed powers, will not be required to be headed by a judicial person and it will not have Benches across the country, as proposed earlier.

“In view of the Supreme Court's order, the ministry has proposed that adjudicatory powers will be exercised by a three-member appellate tribunal to be headed by a judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court,” a ministry official said.

The other members of the tribunal will be experts in competition related matters.

The three-member tribunal will be selected by a committee headed by the Chief Justice of India or his nominee and include the law secretary and the company affairs secretary.

The proposed amendments effectively mean that while CCI will take up complaints on competition related matters and give its decisions.

The tribunal will decide on cases of compensation or dispute between two parties involving compensation.

As per the Act, CCI will still be able to levy monetary penalties, issue cease and desist orders, summon people and ask for production of records.

The downsized CCI will not have Benches across the country and the 7-member commission will be Delhi-based. A minimum quorum has been specified to take up cases for taking decisions.

“We have done away with the concept of Benches, as it gave a feeling that the commission was a judicial body. The commission in the proposed form will still be able to take up cases anywhere in the country,” the official said.

The government has also proposed to do away with the post of member (administration), CCI. The financial and administrative powers will vest with the chairman of the commission, who will function like a chief executive officer.

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