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Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969


31. Investigation by Commission of monopolistic trade practices

(1) Where it appears to the Central Government 40[that the owners of one or more undertakings are indulging in any practice which is, or, may be, a monopolistic trade practice], or that, monopolistic trade practices prevail in respect to any goods or services, that government may refer the matter to the Commission for an inquiry and the Commission shall, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report to the Central Government its findings thereon:

10[PROVIDED that where the Commission receives 26[any application from the Director General or] any information, or comes to know, that the owner of any undertaking is, or, the owners of two or more undertakings are, indulging in any trade practice, which is, or may be, a monopolistic trade practice, or that monopolistic trade practices prevail in respect of any goods or services, it may 26[on such application or on its own motion, and notwithstanding that no reference has been made to it by the Central Government under this sub-section, make an inquiry into the matter.]

(2) If as a result of such inquiry, the Commission makes a finding to the effect that, having regard to the economic conditions prevailing in the country and to all other matters which appear in particular circumstances to be relevant, the trade practice operates or is likely to operate against the public interest, 10[it shall make a report to the Central Government as to its findings thereon and on receipt of such report], the Central Government may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, pass such orders as it may think fit to remedy or prevent any mischief’s which result or may result from such trade practice.

10[(2A) If any such report contains a finding of the Commission to the effect that the owner of any undertaking is, or, the owners of two or more undertakings are, indulging in any monopolistic trade practice, or that monopolistic trade practice prevails in respect of any goods or services, and the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary to take steps to remedy or prevent any mischief’s which result or may result from such monopolistic trade practice, and that such monopolistic trade practice does not fall within any of the exceptions specified in section 32, it may, notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, make such orders as it may think fit,-

(a) prohibiting the owner of the concerned undertaking or the owners of the concerned undertakings, as the case may be, from continuing to indulge in such monopolistic trade practice; or

(b) prohibiting the owners of any class of undertakings or undertakings generally, from continuing to indulge in any monopolistic trade practices in relation to such goods or services; and may also make such other orders as it may think fit to remedy or prevent any mischief which results, or may result, from the continuation of monopolistic trade practices in relation to the goods and services aforesaid.]

(3) 41[Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by sub-section (2A), any order made by the Central Government under this section may also include an order]-

(a) regulating the  42[production, storage, supply], distribution or control of any goods by the undertaking or the control or supply of any service by it and fixing the terms of sale (including prices) or supply thereof;

(b) prohibiting the undertaking from resorting to any act or practice or from pursuing any commercial policy which prevents or lessens, or is likely to prevent or lessen, competition in the 42[production, storage, supply] or distribution of any goods or provision of any services;

(c) fixing standards for the goods used or produced by the undertaking;

(d) declaring unlawful, except to such extent and in such circumstances as may be provided by or under the order, the making or carrying out of any such agreement as may be specified or described in the order;

(e) requiring any party to the any such agreement as may be so specified or described to determine the agreement within such time as may be so specified either wholly or to such extent as may be so specified;

10[(f) regulating the profits which may be derived from the production, storage, supply, distribution or control of goods or from the provision of any service;

(g) regulating the quality of any goods or the provision of any service so that the standards thereof may not deteriorate.]

10[(4) Whenever any order is made by the Central Government under sub-section (2A) prohibiting the owner of any undertaking or class of undertakings or undertakings generally from continuing in any monopolistic trade practice,-

(a) the owner of any undertaking or the owners of undertakings of any class, as the case may be. shall, within thirty days from the date of receipt of such order (or within such further time as the Central Government may, on sufficient cause being shown, allow) communicate to the Central Government his or their compliance with the order; and

(b) the Director General shall within ninety days from the date of such order (or from the expiry of the further time allowed by the Central Government) inform the Central Government, whether the order made by it has been complied with, and where the Director General has any reason to believe that any such order has been, or is being, contravened by the owner of any undertaking, he shall inform the Central Government about the particulars of the owner of such undertaking, to enable that government to take such action, under this Act, as it may think fit.]



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