Govt proposes amendments to competition law; seeks comments on the Bill

Illustration by Ajaya Mohanty

The government has proposed various amendments to competition law, including a provision for persons to seek settlement of ongoing cases.

The draft bill to amend the Competition Act, 2002, has been made public more than six months after an expert panel suggested sweeping changes to the law.

In the bill, prepared by the corporate affairs ministry, provision for settlement of cases has been proposed, among others.

In certain cases, a person can submit an application in writing to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) proposing settlement of the proceeding initiated for the alleged contraventions, as per the bill.

Such an application for settlement can be submitted at any time after the receipt of the Director General's (DG) report in the case concerned. However, it should be submitted before passing of an order by the CCI.

DG is the investigation arm of the regulator. Cases where there are prima-facie evidence of competition law violations are referred to the DG for a detailed probe.

Another proposal in the bill is to have a clause wherein a person can offer "commitments in respect of the alleged contraventions", subject to certain conditions.

In July 2019, Competition Law Review Committee, chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas, submitted a report and recommended certain amendments to the Competition Act and subordinate legislations.

After taking into consideration the recommendations of the panel, the ministry has prepared the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Comments from the public on the bill have been sought till March 6.



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