New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI)—mandated to look into anti-competitive practices—is expected to begin hearing from next month cases related to cartelization and abuse of dominance, an official said.
Abuse of a dominant position occurs when a dominant firm or group of companies in a market engages in a conduct that is intended to eliminate or deter a competitor.
“A notification will be issued shortly by the ministry and hearing of cases relating to cartelization and abuse of dominance will start happening early in May,” the official at the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, MCA has advertised for two more posts of members of CCI and two posts of members of Competition Appellate Tribunal. The last date for all applications was Friday.
Appeal against CCI can be made to the tribunal. Therefore, establishing a tribunal with a chairman and members is required before CCI starts hearing cases.
“The appointment of chairman of the tribunal, who will be a legal expert and the nominee of the Chief Justice of India, is also expected soon,” said the official.
The recruitment process of CCI started early this year. Dhanendra Kumar, chairman of CCI, and H.C. Gupta member and former coal secretary, were sworn in on 28 February. Another member, R. Prasad, former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, was sworn in on 1 March.
Two more members, Geeta Gouri, former director of tariffs, Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission, and P.N. Parashar, former judicial member of the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal, have also joined recently.
CCI assumed statutory powers to enforce anti-competitive practices in September 2007, when the amended Competition Act, 2002, was approved by Parliament.
“Now that the process of establishment of appellate tribunal has started and draft regulation relating to anti-competitive agreements, including cartels and abuse of dominance, are being finalised through a consultative process, it is time that CCI commences hearing of cases after these regulations are notified by the government,” said G.R. Bhatia, a competition law expert and partner at Luthra and Luthra Law Offices.