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Section 53E and 22(3) of Competition Act, 2002 declared unconstitutional and void: Delhi HC

April 12, 2019[2019] 104 taxmann.com 229 (Delhi)
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Competition Law: CCI is not a Tribunal solely discharging judicial powers of State; it is rather, a body that is in parts administrative, expert (having regard to its advisory and advocacy roles) and quasi-judicial when it proceeds to issue final orders, directions and (or) penalties

Competition Law: Section 22(3), to extent it enables Chairperson or senior member presiding a board meeting to vote twice, i.e. have a casting vote, is anathema to judicial functioning and being incapable of a clear or neat segregation, has to be declared void in its entirety

Competition Law: Section 53E, as it stood prior to amendment by Finance Act, 2017, providing Composition of Selection Committee for selecting members of COMPAT is unconstitutional and void

Competition Law: Since stage at which CCI can call upon parties to react is only after it receives report from DG, argument that a specific order by CCI applying its mind into role played by each party was essential before DG could have proceeded with inquiry was unmerited

Competition Law: CCI is to frame regulations to ensure that once final hearings in any complaint or batch of complaints begin, membership should not vary, and a matter should preferably be heard by seven or at least, five members

Competition Law: Section 53T, which provides for an appeal to Supreme Court is Constitutionally valid

Competition Law: Absence of any compulsion to issue a separate show cause notice preceding a penalty under section 27(b) does not render that provision arbitrary

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