India - NCLAT Affirms CCI’s Order Dismissing Allegations Of Abuse Of Dominance By Bureau Of India Standard & Ors.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - India - Competition & Antitrust

5 July, 2019

 

On May 2, 2019, NCLAT dismissed an appeal against a CCI order, dismissing allegations of abuse of dominance against Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards  and the Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (‘DCAFPD’). [1]

 

The appellant, a proprietor of a material testing laboratory, alleged that the BIS Laboratory Recognition Scheme (‘BIS-LRS’) amounted to an abuse of dominant position and was violative of Section 4 of the Act as BIS-LRS mandated compliance with accreditation standards (e.g., IS/ISO/IEC-17025, ISO-IEC-17025) and referred to accreditation bodies (such as Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Corporation, International Laboratory Accreditation Corporation) which was not provided for in the BIS Act or the rules framed thereunder. [2]

 

NCLAT dismissed the allegations on the preliminary ground that BIS is not an ‘economic entity’, and therefore could not be construed as an ‘enterprise’ under Section 2(h) of the Act and further noted that its impugned conduct will not be subject to Section 4 of the Act. NCLAT relied on the fact that the imposition of the impugned criteria by BIS fell squarely within its statutory authority and mandate to ensure harmonious development of standardization, marking and quality certification, including quality certification of laboratory testing services.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Zia Mody, Partner, AZB & Partners

zia.mody@azbpartners.com

 

[1] Competition Appeal (AT) No. 16 of 2017
[2] Case No. 14 of 2017