Civil Appeal No. 8920 of 2012 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 28463 of 2011) and Civil Appeal No. 8921 of 2012 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 17380 of 2012). Case: 1. Girish Chandra Gupta, 2. James Kutty P.C. and Anr. Vs 1. Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Corp. Ltd. and Ors., 2. Tread Stone Ltd. and Ors.. Supreme Court

Case Number:Civil Appeal No. 8920 of 2012 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 28463 of 2011) and Civil Appeal No. 8921 of 2012 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 17380 of 2012)
Party Name:1. Girish Chandra Gupta, 2. James Kutty P.C. and Anr. Vs 1. Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Corp. Ltd. and Ors., 2. Tread Stone Ltd. and Ors.
Judges:A.K. Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, JJ.
Issue:Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 - Sections 10, 11, 12B, 12B(1), 12B(2), 12B(3), 12B(4), 36B, 36C, 37(1); Competition Act, 2002 - Sections 66(1), 66(3); Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 1 Rule 8
Citation:2013 (112) CLA 1 (SC), 2013 (1) CompLJ 257 (SC), 2013 (1) LW 465, 2012 (12) SCALE 65
Judgement Date:December 11, 2012
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

A.K. Patnaik, J.

  1. Leave granted.

  2. The facts very briefly in these two appeals are that the Appellants filed compensation applications C.A. No. 110 of 1997 and C.A. No. 126 of 2008 under Section 12B of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (for short 'the MRTP Act') before the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (for short 'the MRTP Commission') constituted under the MRTP Act. By Section 66(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, the MRTP Act was repealed and the MRTP Commission was dissolved. Section 66(3) of the Competition Act, 2002 provided that all cases pertaining to monopolistic trade practices or restrictive trade practices pending before the MRTP Commission shall, on the commencement of the Competition (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009, stand transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal constituted under the Competition Act, 2002 and shall be adjudicated by the Appellate Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of the MRTP Act as if the MRTP Act had not been repealed. Consequently, the two compensation applications filed by the Appellants stood transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal. Before the Competition Appellate Tribunal, the Respondents in the two appeals raised preliminary objections to the maintainability of the compensation applications filed by the Appellants. They contended that the Appellants had not initiated separate proceedings either under Section 10 or under Section 36B of the MRTP Act alleging unfair trade practices by the Respondents and in the absence of any such separate proceedings initiated by the Respondents before the MRTP Commission, the compensation applications of the Appellants under Section 12B of the MRTP Act were not maintainable.

  3. This preliminary question raised by the Respondents was also raised in C.A. No. 108 of 2005 filed by Info Electronics System Ltd. against Sutran Corporation and the Competition Appellate Tribunal by its order dated 29.03.2011 passed in C.A. No. 108 of 2005 (Info Electronics System Ltd. v. Sutran Corporation) held, relying on a judgment of this Court in Saurabh Prakash v. DLF Universal Ltd. ((2007) 1 SCC 228), that in the absence of separate proceedings alleging unfair, monopolistic or restrictive trade practice, an application for compensation under Section 12B of the MRTP Act is not maintainable and accordingly dismissed C.A. No. 108 of 2005. Following the aforesaid order dated 29.03.2011 in C.A. No. 108 of 2005, the Competition Appellate Tribunal also dismissed C.A. No. 126 of 2008 on 26.04.2012 and C.A. No. 110 of 1997 on 20.05.2011 filed by the Appellants in the Civil Appeals before us. Aggrieved, the Appellants have filed these appeals.

  4. Mr. Siddharth Bhatnagar, learned Counsel for the Appellant in the Civil Appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 28463 of 2011, submitted that this Court has not held in Saurabh Prakash v. DLF Universal Ltd. (supra), on which the Competition Appellate Tribunal has placed reliance, that in the absence of any separate proceedings either under Section 10 or Section 36B of the MRTP Act, an application for compensation under Section 12B of the MRTP Act is not maintainable. He submitted that a reading of Section 12B of the MRTP Act rather shows that an independent proceeding under Section 12B of the MRTP Act for compensation can be initiated by an applicant. He relied on the decision in M/s Pennwalt (I) Ltd. and Anr. v. Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission and Ors. (AIR 1999 DELHI 23) in which, after examining the provisions of Sections 10, 36B and other provisions of the MRTP Act...

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