The enforcement of any new law can throw many issues. These become especially prominent in the case of a law that is brought into force in phases – i.e. different provisions are made operational at different times.
The Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act) is one such legislation. Though the statute was passed in 2003, its phase-wise notification extended up till 2011. More importantly, the sections/ provisions relating to anti-competitive agreements were notified to come into force from 20 May 2009. The application of a provision/ section after an event is one such prickly issue.
The Supreme Court of India (SC) has examined the issue in the context of the Competition Act in the recent decision of Excel Crop Care Limited v Competition Commission of India & Anr.