December 27, 2017
Chapter III of the Competition Act, 2002 provides for the establishment of Competition Commission of India (CCI). According to the Act, the Commission shall comprise of Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six other members to be appointed by the Central Government.
The statutory provision further entails that the Chairperson and other members of the Commission shall possess special knowledge and professional experience of not less than 15 years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy etc.
Under the provisions of the Act, the Chairperson and other Members shall be selected in the manner and in accordance to the Rules prescribed by the Central Government.
Powers and Functions of the Commission
- To eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade by other participants
- Inquire into certain agreements and dominant position of enterprise– It provides that the Commission may either suo moto or on receipt of any information of alleged contravention of Section 3 (prohibits anti-competitive agreements) may inquire into the same.
- Inquiry into combinations– Section 20 of the Act entrusts the Commission with the power to inquire into any information relating to acquisition and determine whether such combination or acquisition may have an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC).
- Reference of an issue by a statutory authority to the Commission– Section 21 of the Act enumerates that in the course of a proceeding if any issue is raised that any decision of a statutory authority will be in conflict with the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002, the statutory authority shall make a reference in this regard to the Commission.
- Reference by Commission– Section 21A of the Act provides that if in the course of proceeding an issue is raised by any party that any decision taken by the Commission is in contravention of the provisions of Competition Act, whose authority is entrusted to a statutory authority then the Commission may make a reference in respect of the issue to the statutory authority.
- Power to issue interim order– Section 33 of the Act empowers the Commission to issue interim orders in cases of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position, thereby temporarily restraining any party from carrying on such an act.
- Competition Advocacy– Section 49 of the Act provides for competition advocacy and enumerates that the Central or the State Government may while formulating any policy on Competition or any other matter may make reference to the Commission for its opinion on possible effect of such policy on Competition. However, the opinion given by the Commission is not binding on the Central Government.