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Download Act Introduction To Competition Act, 2002
Since attaining Independence in 1947,India, for the better part of half a century thereafter, adopted and followed policies comprising what are known as Command-and-Control laws, rules, regulations and executive orders. The competition law of India, namely, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act, for brief) was one such. It was in 1991 that widespread economic reforms were undertaken and consequently the march from Command-and-Control economy to an economy based more on free market principles commenced its stride. As is true of many countries, economic liberalisation has taken root in India and the need for an effective competition regime has also been recognised.
In the context of the new economic policy paradigm, India has chosen to enact a new competition law called the Competition Act, 2002. The MRTP Act has metamorphosed into the new law, Competition Act, 2002. The new law is designed to repeal the extant MRTP Act. As of now, only a few provisions of the new law have been brought into force and the process of constituting the regulatory authority, namely, the Competition Commission of India under the new Act, is on. The remaining provisions of the new law will be brought into force in a phased manner. For the present, the outgoing law, MRTP Act, 1969 and the new law, Competition Act, 2002 are concurrently in force, though as mentioned above, only some provisions of the new law have been brought into force.
Competition Law for India was triggered by Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution of India. These Articles are a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Pegging on the Directive Principles, the first Indian competition law was enacted in 1969 and was christened the Monopolies And Restrictive Trade Practices, 1969 (MRTP Act). Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution of India mandate, inter alia, that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively, as it may, a social order in which justice social, economic and political shall inform all the institutions of the national life, and the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing.
1. That the ownership and control of material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good; and
2. That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
In October 1999, the Government of India appointed a High Level Committee on Competition Policy and Competition Law to advise a modern competition law for the country in line with international developments and to suggest a legislative framework, which may entail a new law or appropriate amendments to the MRTP Act. The Committee presented its Competition Policy report to the Government in May 2000 [the report will be referred to hereinafter as High Level Committee (2000)]. The draft competition law was drafted and presented to the Government in November 2000. After some refinements, following extensive consultations and discussions with all interested parties, the Parliament passed in December 2002 the new law, namely, the Competition Act, 2002.
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Source: Competition Commission of India, Legalserviceindia.com