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Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969


38. Presumption as to the public interest

(1) For the purposes of any proceedings before the Commission under section 37, a restrictive trade practice shall be deemed to be prejudicial to the public interest unless the Commission is satisfied of any one or more of the following circumstances, that is to say-

(a) that the restriction is reasonably necessary, having regard to the character of the goods to which it applies, to protect the public against injury (whether to persons or to premises) in connection with the consumption, installation or use of those goods;

(b) that the removal of the restriction would deny to the public as purchasers, consumers or users of any goods, other specific and substantial benefits or advantages enjoyed or likely to be enjoyed by them as such, whether by virtue of the restriction itself or of any arrangements or operations resulting there from;

(c) that the restriction is reasonable necessary to counteract measures taken by any one person not party to the agreement with a view to preventing or restricting competition in or in relation to the trade or business in which the persons party thereto are engaged;

(d) that the restriction is reasonably necessary to enable the persons party to the agreement to negotiate fair terms for the supply of goods to, or the acquisition of goods from, any one person not party thereto who controls a preponderant part of the trade or business of acquiring or supplying such goods, or for the supply of goods to any person not party to the agreement and not carrying on such a trade or business who, either alone or in combination with any other such persons, controls a preponderant part of the market for such goods;

(e) that, having regard to the conditions actually obtaining or reasonably foreseen at the time of the application, the removal of the restriction would be likely to have a serious and persistent adverse effect on the general level of unemployment in an area, or in areas taken together, in which a substantial proportion of the trade, or industry to which the agreement relates is situated;

(f) that, having regard to the conditions actually obtaining or reasonably foreseen at the time of the application, the removal of the restriction would be likely to cause a reduction in the volume or earnings of the export business which is substantial either in relation to the whole export business of India or in relation to the whole business (including export business) of the said trade or industry;

(g) that the restriction is reasonably required for purposes in connection with the maintenance of any other restriction accepted by the parties, whether under the same agreement or under any other agreement between them, being a restriction which is found by the Commission not to be contrary to the public interest upon grounds other than those specified in this paragraph or has been so found in previous proceedings before the Commission; 50[* * *]

(h) that the restriction does not directly or indirectly restrict or discourage competition to any material degree in any relevant trade or industry and is not likely to do so;

10[(i) that such restriction has been expressly authorized and approved by the Central Government;

(j) that such restriction is necessary to meet the requirements of the defense of India or any part thereof, or for the security of the State; or

(k) that the restriction is necessary to ensure the maintenance of supply of goods and services essential to the community,]

and is further satisfied (in any such case) that the restriction is not unreasonable having regard to the balance between those circumstances and any detriment to the public or to persons not parties to the agreement (being purchases, consumers or users of goods produced or sold by such parties, or persons engaged or seeking to become engaged in the trade or business of selling such goods or of producing or selling similar goods, resulting or likely to result from the operation of the restriction.

(2) In this section "purchasers", "consumers" and "users" include person purchasing, consuming or using for the purpose or in the course of trade or business or for public purchase; and references in this section to any one person including references to any two or more persons being inter-connected undertakings or individuals carrying on business in partnership with each other.



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