Competition Commission is the market regulator responsible for the implementation of the Competition Act 2002, whose objective is to ensure that the market forces operate with transparency and fair play. It has several functions. It is primarily a regulatory body and keeps an eye on the activities which hamper or may hamper competition in the market and can inquire into such matters which are like activities enumerated under sections 3 (anti-competitive agreement), 4 (abuse of dominant position), & 5 ( combinations). Under Section 18 Competition Commission must implement the objectives of the Act enumerated under the Preamble of the Act.
Hence it can be said that the Competition Commission is invested in inquisitorial, adjudicatory, and advisory jurisdictions as well in certain matters. Competition Commission has a power of inquiry under sections 19 & 20 in the matter of Sections 3, 4 & 5 respectively of the Act; however Central Government may appoint a director general for assisting Commission in an inquiry under section 16. Thereby, the Director General only can assist in inquiry and has no power to inquire similarly Director General is invested with the power of investigation and the commission has no power to investigate. Both are administrative functions and go simultaneously. Firstly Commission inquires whether there is a prima facie case and if it opines that yes there exists a prima facie case then it may direct Director General to investigate the matter and submit its report, (Under regulation 18 of the General Regulation 2009 it is provided that direction of investigation to Director general is deemed to be the commencement of inquiry u/s 26 of the Act.) and based on this report and other information submitted by informants the commission disposes of the case. This paper analyses various provisions of law that concern inquiry, investigation and admissibility of evidence under the Competition Act of 2002.