New Delhi: With the government having taken a tough stand against the monopolistic activities of the private sector, some of the country’s largest firms have gone on the offensive, with one firm claiming that it will seek to get a share of the market.
On Tuesday, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, set aside the decision of the Centre to ban two firms that are believed to have monopolised the market in textiles.
The bench directed the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to submit its recommendations on how to “rescue” the firms.
The two firms – Airtel and Reliance Jio – said they were not happy with the Supreme Courts decision and wanted a fresh hearing.
The government had taken the stand that the firms had broken the law and had engaged in unfair and non-competitive activities.
“We are disappointed in the decision, which we believe is un-Indian and a clear attempt to discriminate against a group of companies,” said an Airtels spokesperson.
A Jio spokesperson said, “It is a very unfortunate decision.
We will not accept it.”
Both firms have filed a case before the apex court against the Centre’s decision.
The firms are alleging that the Centre has imposed a monopoly on the market for the private industry.
“The government is trying to restrict competition and destroy our businesses,” said Kishore Pramanik, the president of the Reliance Industries Association.
The decision was also a “frivolous” one, he said.
“A ban on Jio and AirtELS, which have been given preferential treatment, is not a big deal,” he added.
The ruling also came after the Supreme Council of Applied Legal Research and Training (SCALERT) had said that the government’s decision was not appropriate.
“The court was asked to find that the regulation is an ‘inherently discriminatory’ regulation as it does not discriminate on the ground of race, religion, sex or place of residence, or on any other ground.
The ruling is based on this assumption,” it had said.
In the same order, SCALERT also said that it was not a valid regulation.
“It was not the government that took up the issue of the validity of the regulation, nor is it the court that came to a decision.
Its sole duty is to determine whether the regulation falls within the purview of the Constitution,” it said.