On July 17, 2019, DHC upheld the order passed by CCI in Nagrik Chetna Manch v. SAAR IT Resources Private Limited and Ors. 1 which was passed in the absence of a judicial member. 2
The petitioner contended that the orders were passed without the presence of a judicial member and were therefore in contravention with the law laid down by the Division Bench of the DHC in Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. & Ors v. Competition Commission of India & Anr.. The petitioner brought the court's attention to paragraph 148 of the judgment where the Division Bench of the DHC had held that at all times, when adjudicatory orders (especially, final orders) are made by CCI, the presence and participation of the judicial member is necessary. The petitioner further argued that the Court has already issued directions to the Central Government to take expeditious steps to fill the existing vacancies.
DHC observed that the Division Bench did not issue any specific direction while pronouncing the judgment which would interdict the functioning of CCI pending such appointment. DHC also relied on Section 15 of the Act and various decisions of the Supreme Court of India which clarified that 'any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the CCI shall not invalidate any proceeding of CCI'.
Accordingly, DHC held that the petition lacks merit and dismissed it.
1. W.P.(C) 6661/2019 & CM APPL. 28107/2019, 28108/2019.
2. Case No. 12 of 2017, W.P.(C) 11467 of 2018.
Published In:Inter Alia Special Edition- Competition Law - September 2019 [ English
Date: September 21, 2019
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.