The Entanglement of the Principles of Natural Justice befitting to Competition Law
Volume IV, Issue I, 2021
The Principles of Natural justice are entrenched in the judicial proceedings to unveil the whimsical behavior of adjudicating authorities. It forms an inseparable part of the judicial mechanism, through which the decision-making process runs throughout the matters, touching the rights and liberties of the people. As such, the principles of Natural justice are an embodiment of twin concepts from the legal maxims “nemo judex in causa sua”and “audi alteram partem” which contains the rule against bias and the right to a fair hearing. S. 36(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, imparts an explicit statutory duty upon the Competition Commission of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘CCI’) in following the Principles of Natural justice while exercising its powers of investigation. However, most of the cases decided by CCI in fixing penalties have been reversed by the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), due to wanting of the principles of Natural justice. The prime focus of the author in this article is to analyze the impact of Natural justice within the decisions of CCI, which in turn replicates the concept of social justice followed under the Competition Law.
Keywords: Natural justice, CCI, Transparency, S.26 & S.36 of Competition Act, 2002.