HC asks competition watchdog to reveal probe details behind showcause notice to bourse
Deevakar Anand | May 31, 2011
The Delhi high court on Tuesday asked the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to share details of its probe that led to the competition watchdog serving a showcause notice to the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The court set a deadline of Friday (June 3) for CCI to comply with the order.
The order has come a day after the NSE knocked the court’s door pleading to compel the competition watchdog to provide it with the complete report including the dissenting notes from its members.
A CCI probe had levelled charges of abuse of dominant position and adoption of unfair practices in the trading of currency derivatives by NSE.The commission had then served a show cause notice to the bourse on April 29.
Justice S Muralidhar has asked NSE to reply to CCI within five working days once it obtains the order. The stock exchange had said in its petition that CCI did not share the dissenting views of its members over the show cause notice which was in contravention to an earlier court directive.
The CCI probe had been based on a complaint filed by NSE’s rival MCX stock exchange. NSE had first approached the Delhi HC on May 16 for a direction in this regard. On the court’s order, CCI gave a copy of the 140-page investigation report on May 25 but NSE complained it did not have the dissent notes attached and seemed to be passed by majority in CCI.
Justice Muralidhar questioned CCI on holding the dissenting note back and observed that being not a private body, all its opinions must be in public .The bench observed, “The commission is a public body and all its orders must be made available to all.”
“You are not a private body. All your opinions must be in public. In fact you should put it on website. None should need to file an application to get your order," he noted.
The bench did not pay heed to MCX ‘s counsel’s allegation that the matter is being complicated by NSE . The counsel said that since the current CCI chairman Dhanendra Kumar is retiring two days later on June 3, NSE will ask for a re look at the issue afresh. The court said it did not want to go into that as the issue was not raised earlier.
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