Regardless of whatever regulatory and legal reforms India undertakes, it is unlikely to achieve its objectives unless its judiciary shows maturity and exercises restraint. Its propensity to interpret stated law in the broadest terms, far beyond its contextual and literal sense, most often transgressing its functional jurisdiction, has been at the cost of other institutions. The latest institution to fall victim is the Competition Commission of India (CCI),
India’s competition regulator has netted a paltry 0.6% of the total amount of fines that it has imposed on companies as lengthy judicial reviews and overturned orders have rendered the anti-trust watchdog almost toothless. Since its inception in 2009, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has levied Rs.13,900 crore in penalties on companies for violating rules. The regulator’s success rate in recovering the money is, however, alarmingly dismal at Rs.82.1 crore... Judicial appeals have either delayed or blocked CCI from recovering penalty money, making the regulator appear ineffective... 97% of the penalty (approximately) has been stayed by the courts/appellate authority.
For sure, the CCI cannot absolve itself of its share of the blame for the quality of its orders. But it cannot be so bad that 97% of its orders are not only contested but continue to remain under litigation. Does the Ministry of Finance really want the Reserve Bank of India to be the next victim?