KSRTC Exclusivity for Operating Buses on Sabarimala Route is a Govt.’s Policy Decision & Isn’t Anti-Competitive | CCI

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  • 2 Min Read
  • By Taxmann
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  • Last Updated on 31 January, 2024

Kerala corporation's bus service

Case Details: Shine P. Sasidhar v. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation - [2024] 158 taxmann.com 653 (CCI)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

    • Ms Ravneet Kaur, Chairperson, Anil Agrawal & Ms Sweta Kakkad, Member

Facts of the Case

In the instant case, the Opposite Party (OP) was an autonomous corporation established by the Government of Kerala under the Road Transport Corporations Act, 1950 to operate buses within and outside the State of Kerala.

The Informant, a practising lawyer in Delhi was primarily aggrieved by exclusivity granted to OP by the Government of Kerala by way of notification for operating buses on the Nilakkal Pamba route to reach Sabarimala temple as well as charging of exorbitant fares from passengers on said route.

This had been alleged to be in contravention of provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. With regard to the allegation of exclusivity granted to OP by the Government of Kerala, it was noted that it was a policy decision of the Government of Kerala and would not be considered as anti-competitive.

With regard to the allegation of charging excessive fares, it was noted that fares were fixed by OP in accordance with Notification dated 30.04.2022 and said notification was applicable to both nationalized and non-nationalized routes and had provisions for enhancement of rate of fares for:

(a) Ghat roads and;

(b) during festival occasions as mentioned in the schedule appended to said notification.

Further, fares on per kilometre basis were being charged on a uniform basis as per said notification by both public and private operators.

Against the aforesaid backdrop, the CCI observed that since there appears no discernible competition concern in the matter, it would not be appropriate to delve into allegations of abuse of the dominant position.

CCI Held

The CCI held that prima-facie, no case of contravention of Section 4 was made out in facts, circumstances and allegations levelled in case and matter was ordered to be closed forthwith under Section 26(2) of the Competition Act, 2002.

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