The Supreme Court ruled today that Coal India Ltd. is subject to the Competition Act of 2002 despite being a state-owned enterprise. Today, Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna rendered their decision. “We deny the applicant’s claim that the Competition Act isn’t applicable to them due to the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act….The Nationalisation Act cannot be reconciled to the [Competition] Act.”
The court also remitted the case to the Competition Commission of India for a decision on the merits. Moreover, it was clarified that the IAs seeking interim relief and the contempt petitions would be posted in July. “The transferred case shall be recalled to allow this to be evaluated on its own merits. Cases that were transferred have been resolved. Similarly, the appeal will be posted for review based on its own merits. Interlocutory applications seeking interim relief in pending appeals will be listed during the second week of July 2023. The contempt petitions will be enumerated in July 2023.
Coal India argued that it is not subject to the Competition Act because it operates coal mines governed by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act. The Bench was listening to their petitions. The CCI was against the petition. Previously, the competition regulator had fined Coal India over Rs 1,773 crore for imposing unfair/discriminatory conditions in Fuel Supply Agreements with non-coking coal producers.
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