On September 8, 2022, the NCLAT dismissed the appeal raised against CCI and National Egg Coordination Committee (‘NECC’), upholding the CCI Order dated January 14, 2022, passed in Case No. 9/2017 and Case No. 36/2017 under Section 27 of the Competition Act.
By way of background, the CCI in terms of Section 27 of the Competition Act, held that the impugned conduct of NECC in enforcing/seeking to enforce its declared prices of eggs is in violation of the provisions of Section 3(3)(a) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, and accordingly the CCI directed the following:
- NECC, while declaring and disseminating egg prices, will give sufficient and prominent disclaimers (including on its website) at all times that the prices so declared are only suggestive, and for the information of trade and industry;
- NECC will cease and desist from issuing any directives/threats (verbal or in writing) that non-adherence to the declared egg prices should have any penal/other (non-monetary) consequences upon any of its members or constituents of trade or poultry industry and ensure that no such adverse action is taken on any person. The same will be prominently disseminated on its website at all times;
- NECC to foster a culture of competition compliance within its organization including its Zonal Committees and Local Committees and to sensitize its members/stakeholders by bringing into place a Competition Advocacy/Compliance Programme to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Competition Act.
- NECC to file a compliance report with regard to (i) and (ii) above within 60 days from the date of receipt of this order by it. NECC to also file compliance report in respect of (iii) above within 180 days from the date of the receipt of this order.
On reviewing the CCI order, the NCLAT observed that since NECC was basically an organisation established for the benefit of small poultry farmers. In addition, the fact that prices were fixed for the benefit of small poultry farmers, the CCI taking holistic view instead of imposing any penalty has issued directions mainly to NECC to desist from fixing price.
NCLAT further noted that the CCI in its analysis has discussed every aspect and gave detailed reasons when passing the impugned order. Additionally, the NCLAT was satisfied that the CCI has rightly observed that fixation of price by NECC would be suggestive in nature.
Accordingly, the NCLAT dismissed the appeal.
 Competition Appeal (AT) No.25 of 2022.