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MCA Implements Section 33 of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023

Last updated: 21 February 2024


The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has taken a significant step towards bolstering India's competition regulatory framework with the enforcement of Section 33 of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023. Through Notification No. S.O. 740 (E) dated February 19, 2024, the MCA has officially announced the commencement of this pivotal amendment, effective from February 20, 2024.

Relevant provisions of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023

Substitution of new section for section 46.

MCA Implements Section 33 of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023

33. For section 46 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-

Power to impose lesser penalty.

"46. (1) The Commission may, if it is satisfied that any producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider included in any cartel, which is alleged to have violated section 3, has made a full and true disclosure in respect of the alleged violations and such disclosure is vital, impose upon such producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider a lesser penalty as may be specified by regulations, than leviable under this Act or the rules or the regulations made under this Act:

Provided that lesser penalty shall not be imposed by the Commission in cases where the report of investigation directed under section 26 has been received before making of such disclosure:

Provided further that lesser penalty shall be imposed by the Commission only in respect of a producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider included in the cartel, who has made the full, true and vital disclosures under this section:

Provided also that lesser penalty shall not be imposed by the Commission if the person making the disclosure does not continue to co-operate with the Commission till the completion of the proceedings before the Commission:

Provided also that the Commission may, if it is satisfied that such producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider included in the cartel had in the course of proceedings,-

(a) not complied with the condition on which the lesser penalty was imposed by the Commission; or

(b) had given false evidence; or

(c) the disclosure made is not vital,

and thereupon such producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider may be tried for the contravention with respect to which the lesser penalty was imposed and shall also be liable to the imposition of penalty to which such person has been liable, had lesser penalty not been imposed.

(2) The Commission may allow a producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider included in the cartel, to withdraw its application for lesser penalty under this section, in such manner and within such time as may be specified by regulations.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), the Director General and the Commission shall be entitled to use for the purposes of this Act, any evidence submitted by a producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider in its application for lesser penalty, except its admission.

(4) Where during the course of the investigation, a producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider who has disclosed a cartel under sub-section (1), makes a full, true and vital disclosure under sub-section (1) with respect to another cartel in which it is alleged to have violated section 3, which enables the Commission to form a prima facie opinion under sub-section (1) of section 26 that there exists another cartel, then the Commission may impose upon such producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider a lesser penalty as may be specified by regulations, in respect of the cartel already being investigated, without prejudice to the producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider obtaining lesser penalty under sub-section (1) regarding the newly disclosed cartel."

Official copy of the notification has been mentioned below

Notification

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