The Competition Commission of India(CCI), in Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare vs. M/s Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, has held that it is permissible for the Commission to issue directions to the Director General to look into the role of the persons in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of business of the companies, before returning the finding of contravention against the Companies as envisaged under Section 27 read with Section 48 of the Competition Act,2002.
This order by CCI six member panel presided by its Chairperson Mr. Devender Kumar Sikri, is however, in apparent contradiction with the judgment of Competition Appellate Tribunalin A.N. Mohana Kurup and Others vs. Competition Commission of India. The commission has held it otherwise, referring to various judgments by the Apex Court and High courts under various statutes which have pari materia provisions to Section 48 of the Competition Act, where the company and its officer in-charge have been simultaneously prosecuted and convicted/ acquitted.
The Commission gave the following reasons, dismissing the applications challenging simultaneous proceedings. The commission has also referred to Delhi High Court judgment in Pran Mehra vs. CCI, wherein it was held that there cannot be two separate proceedings under Competition Act, in respect of the company and the key-persons.