New Delhi: Parliament on 10 September passed a bill giving teeth to the regulator Competition Commission of India to deal with a host of contemporary economic issues including monopolies and takeovers of corporate firms.
The Rajya Sabha approved without debate the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2007 which was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha.
The bill moved by Company Affairs Minister Premchand Gupta was passed in the Upper House even as it was witnessing uproar by NDA members over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
According to the bill, the Commission will ultimately replace Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Commission (MRTPC). The Commission was established way back in 2003.
The new law, when it comes into operation, would bind the companies to inform CCI about mergers and acquisitions within 30 days. Companies could be penalized in case they fail to do so.
The bill has a provision for a three-member quasi-judicial body Competition Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against any direction issued by the Commission.
It also seeks to empower the CCI to impose penalty of up to Rs25 crore or up to three-year imprisonment or both in cases of continued contravention of its orders if the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate deems fit.
MRTPC will continue to deal with pending cases even two years after the establishment of CCI and will be dissolved thereafter. However, MRTPC would not entertain any new cases after the CCI is constituted. Cases pending with MRTPC after two years of setting up of CCI will be transferred to the latter.