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Face competition panel probe: Madras HC to TANGEDCO

TANGEDCO is at liberty to submit its explanations or objections along with information and documents within four weeks.

Published: 26th December 2021 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th December 2021 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

TANGEDCO (Representational image)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Refusing to grant relief to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) from an inquiry by the Director General (DG) of Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Madras High Court told the power utility to cooperate with the investigation into charges of abuse of dominant position in the sale of electricity.

Justice SM Subramaniam, in a recent order, dismissed the writ petitions filed by TANGEDCO seeking to quash the notice served by CCI based on complaints lodged by Coimbatore-based Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association (SIEMA), which alleged abuse of dominant position in the sale of power by the utility.

He said it is evident, prima facie, that the petitioner (TANGEDCO) was abusing its dominant position by imposing discriminatory conditions in the sale of electricity in the relevant market within the meaning of section 4 (2) (a) (i) of the Competition Act. The CCI had ordered an investigation by the DG and issued notice to TANGEDCO to submit its objections.“The DG has to investigate the matter for violation of any/all provisions of the Competition Act and the report should be submitted within sixty days.”

Justice Subramaniam noted that TANGEDCO is duty-bound to respond to the CCI by producing all required documents along with explanations/objections, if any. He noted that the Electricity Act does not provide any power to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) to launch an investigation into allegations of abuse of dominant position. 

The court, however, said the petitioner (TANGEDCO) is at liberty to avail the opportunities provided by the respondents one and two (CCI and Additional DG) to defend its case.TANGEDCO is at liberty to submit its explanations or objections along with information and documents within four weeks. After receiving the explanation/objections, the CCI and the Additional DG should complete the investigation within four months. 



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