This refers to “Competition Act to have clause on settlement” (October 21). The government's move to introduce a commitment and settlement clause in the Competition Act shows its intent to provide an opportunity to companies found on the wrong side of the competition law to resolve the dispute without going in for a legal battle. This would hopefully save time and resources on both sides. Also, the government is right in its assertion that the insertion of a settlement clause in the Competition Act would further improve the ease of doing business. Given the opportunity, companies would like to settle disputes to escape action by the regulator and avoid legal recourse. Another issue that would inspire a company to go for a settlement is the uncertain outcome of judicial proceedings. Business entities would prefer to amicably settle the issue raised by the regulator.
To my mind, the incorporation of a commitment and settlement clause is worth emulating in the regulation of other sectors as well. The telecom sector is currently witnessing a plethora of legal battles. Parties aggrieved by the decisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the sector regulator, invariably approach the appellate tribunal, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. These cases often land up at the doors of the Supreme Court, after the appellate authority pronounces its judgement. Quite a few cases can be resolved early, if a clause similar to what is being incorporated in the Competition Act finds its way in the regulation by Trai. This would act as an enabler for the telecom sector to grow and expand, keeping the legal wrangles to the minimum.
Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Jabalpur
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