The COMPAT upheld an order passed by CCI, which had found NSE guilty of abusing its dominant market position in currency derivatives segment
The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) on Tuesday upheld the directives passed by Competition Commission of India (CCI) against National Stock Exchange (NSE).
In June 2011, the CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs55.5 crore on NSE for 'abusing its dominant position in the currency derivative market by cross subsidising this segment of business from other segments where it enjoyed virtual monopoly'. MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX), in 2009 had filed a complaint alleging that NSE was indulging in unfair practices by waiving the transaction fee on currency derivatives.
Reacting on the COMPAT order, NSE said it would appeal against the decision. “NSE will appeal the order of COMPAT and we will do the needful after going through the detailed order. Whatever we have done was in the interest of the development of capital markets. A suitable review of the implications will be done in due course," the Exchange said in a statement.
In its order dated 23 June 2011, the CCI had imposed a Rs55.5 crore fine on NSE for abusing its dominant market position and asked the bourse to stop unfair trade practices like subsidising its services with a zero-price regime in the currency derivatives segment.
Imposing a penalty equivalent to 5% of the bourse's three-year average turnover, the CCI had said there was "a clear intention on the part of NSE to eliminate competitors in the relevant market".
The CCI order followed a months-long probe into the matter after a complaint from the NSE's younger rival, MCX-SX.
NSE, then challenged the CCI order before the COMPAT . During its first hearing in August 2011, the COMPAT granted a conditional stay on the Rs55.5 crore penalty order but asked the bourse to comply with the other directions of the fair-trade watchdog in this matter. The Tribunal also directed NSE to give an undertaking that it would have to pay the full penalty, along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum, if it loses the case.
The NSE and MCX-Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) had entered into currency derivatives trading in August 2008 and October 2008 respectively, followed by United Stock Exchange (USE) in 2010.
However, in November 2009, MCX-SX filed a complaint against NSE for abusing its dominant position and thus violating the Competition Act.
After a year-long probe, CCI found NSE guilty of anti-competition practices and penalised it for abusing its dominant market position.
Educational loan for staff hiked to Rs20 lakh @ 5%
While RBI is gearing up to play a key role in the grand plan to bring 150 million households into the formal financial system, RBI employees have obtained a nice fat ‘financial inclusion’ of their own.
Reserve Bank officials already enjoy the most generous perks among government employees, covering every conceivable personal expense including books, computers, gadgets, petrol expenses, in addition to generous travel allowances with few questions asked.
If this were not enough, their children were entitled to a hefty education loan of Rs10 lakh at a concessional rate of 5% to 8%. The central bank has recently doubled the limit for this concessional loan to Rs20 lakh at the same low interest. It is no surprise then that so many children of central bankers can afford a foreign education.
What is certainly a surprise is that so many of these children then end up working for Indian and foreign banks under RBI’s regulation. Is it any wonder that RBI has only recently begun to work on a consumer charter and it supervision remains rather ineffective?
Subrata Roy makes himself at home in Tihar
SEBI vs Sahara will rank among the most unique trials in India’s legal history; the twists and turns just don’t stop. The latest is that a jailed businessman, with a dodgy record of financial disclosures, gets to negotiate a sale of assets to raise bail of over $1.7 billion from a conference room set up at Tihar jail.
Now, Tihar has been temporary home to an array of powerful politicians, industrialists, celebrities and moneybags. But it is the first time that anyone has been permitted to set up video-conferencing facilities inside the jail to raise a spectacularly large bail.
Sahara’s ability to gobble up top global hotels in New York and London like mid-morning snack is a bit of a mystery; but there is clearly no shortage of buyers ready to bid for these marquee properties. The question is: Will Subrata Roy want to negotiate fast, sell quick, post bail and get out of Tihar jail, which has been his home since March 2014? Or will the comforts of a conference facility, with attached toilet and separate annexe, and the long negotiation time granted by the Supreme Court make this a protracted negotiation?
A lot would depend on the advice of Harish Salve, who is the latest in a line of extremely high-profile, powerful and expensive lawyers who have appeared for Sahara Pariwar, starting with the formidable Fali Nariman. Mr Salve has already obtained house arrest-like facilities for Mr Roy. He will have secretarial assistance and visitors will not be identified so long as they allow themselves to be frisked. In essence, visitors to the jail facility will find it easier than going past an airport security check which requires a valid boarding pass and identification.
Subrata Roy, who boasts close personal friendship with every politician, industrialist, cricketer and filmstar that matters in India, has been in jail for failing to refund Rs24,000 crore raised through debenture-like instruments floated by two group firms, namely, Sahara Housing and Sahara Real Estate.
This was after a two-year trial during which a series of top lawyers made astonishing charges against regulators and judges in court and Sahara itself issued bizarre full-page advertisements in newspapers across India. The trial was so nerve-wracking for the apex court judges that the court recorded its anguish over the “psychological offensives, mind games, affronts, jibes and consciously planned snubs” against the Bench by Sahara’s legal team. One SC judge even recused himself.
The trial has been just as hard, although lucrative, for a galaxy of top lawyers. Bar & Bench, a legal blog, points out those who appeared for Sahara include Ram Jethmalani, Aryaman Sundaram, Rajeev Dhawan, Gopal Subramaniam, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and several others.