COMPAT: CCI canít have uncontrolled discretion

The Competition Appellate Tribunal has said competition law is not meant to give fair trade regulator CCI "untrammelled and uncontrolled discretion" to ask for any information from anybody during the course of an investigation.

COMPAT's observations came on a petition filed by five people on whom CCI had imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 per day. CCI had said that if account books of the company were not supplied within 30 days, the penalty was to be Rs 50,000 per day for the next 30 days and Rs 1 lakh per day till it culminates to Rs 1 crore. However, COMPAT said, "We have not found any such application of mind and it seems that the direction was given as a matter of course. We allow this appeal and quash the penalties inflicted in the impugned order.

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