EVENT REPORT- AUGUST 2006

Academic Lecture on “Evolution of Competition Law with respect to India”
by Pradeep S Mehta (ALS.05)

Kolkata, August 26, 2006

The fifth event under the Academic Lecture Series was organized by CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition (CIRC) at the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Kolkata on August 26, 2006 at ICSI-EIRC Auditorium. Mr Pradeep S. Mehta, the Director General of CIRC was the guest speaker of this event.

The event began with Mr. Subrata Kr. Ray, the Vice-Chairman of the ICSI-EIRC welcoming Mr. Mehta and all the members present there. He introduced Mr. Mehta to the audience as “an authority on Competition Law in India” and gave a short account of his profile.

Mr. Mehta began his lecture by giving a brief outline of CUTS’s activities on competition law and policy at the national and international level. He also spoke about the contribution and role of CUTS in the Raghavan Committee which actually proposed the new competition law in India. He divided his lecture in three parts in order to make it easier for the audience to comprehend the complexities of competition laws. He first talked about the extant competition law in India and dealt in detail how the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTPA) came into being in India in 1969. The second part of his lecture was devoted to the 1991 Reforms and since then the changes that were being brought in the MRTPA. The last part of lecture dealt with what the new competition law proposes to do. Throughout his lecture, Mr. Mehta gave numerous examples and illustrated many case studies to elucidate his arguments.

 
After each part of his lecture he opened the floor for comments and questions. One important question was about the fate of Competition Commission of India (CCI). Mr. Mehta responded that the main problem behind the successful functioning of the CCI is that it is being manned by retired bureaucrats, which had caused the matter being questioned by the apex court in response to a writ. There is an apprehension in business that the appointment of bureaucrats will act as a negative element in the proper implementation of the law, and thus adversely affect growth.

Mr. Mehta concluded his lecture by stating that Compliance Education should be made an important part of the advocacy activities of CCI and Company Secretaries can be a good vehicle to promote this. He also mentioned that in this age when “big is no longer ugly”, the issue of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) assumes a great importance. In view of the fact that Company Secretaries have to deal with this M&As, it will be useful for them to acquire better knowledge

The event ended with a memento being gifted to Mr. Mehta by ICSI-EIRC.