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Vivek Kulkarni and MRTP

[{Admin} - Most of us feel that this is the way, take each contentious issue in BIAL saga separately. Don't mix them all up like TOI/CityConnect's HAL campaign did. Let us watch Mr Kulkarni's challenge to BIAL Concession agreement]

I read in Times of India that Shri Vivek Kulkarni, MD of B2K Corp, and former IT Secretary for Government of Karnataka is going to challenge the CA before the MRTP commission on May 26th.

Lets wait for outcome of that hearing. I am sure there might be some green light.

I wish Shri Kulkarni the best!


The CA agreement is at odds with Section 38 of the MRTP act. But however, one would need a well versed lawyer to go over this. I had written about this to BCCF and they are discussing this issue with some of their key members.

However breaking up trust and monopolies is a very difficult thing to do, even in the US which is very distrustful of monopolies. It takes a very strong case and well educated / practiced lawyers to take up this issue.

And since MRTP act in India does not show a great history of working, i doubt the Supreme Court would have some precedent on this. 

An update - the HC directs MRTP commission to hear Shri Kulkarni

There has been a good development w.r.t BIAL Vs HAL. The Honourable High Court of Karnataka has directed the MRTP Commission to hear the petition of Shri Vivek Kulkarni, IAS and CEO of M/S Brickworks Ltd. He was the former IT Secretary to the GoK.

"Disposed of

The court disposed of a petition by a former IAS officer from the State challenging the monopoly of the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) in Bangalore.

The petitioner, Vivek Kulkarni, a former Secretary, Information Technology, said BIAL was a monopoly company and it, therefore, attracted the provisions of Section 31 of the Monopolies and Trade Restrictive Practices (MRTP) Act.

He said the MRTP Commission had refrained from passing any order till the High Court gave its verdict. He prayed for a direction to keep HAL airport open.

A Division Bench comprising Mr. Cyriac Joseph and Mr. Justice Venugopala Gowda directed the MTRP Commission to hear Mr. Kulkarni’s application and dispose it of by July 10."


silkboard's picture

Monopoly - how to deem one unfair?

Thanks, thats an interesting update mcadambi. I think forcing BIAL to honor RTI is one possible conclusion of this story. RTI would mean us knowing BIAL's margins, and plans, and those may in turn mean lower UDF and other charges.

Think of it, there are monopolies in almost every aspect of our lives - water, electricity, transport, railways. But they don't come under MRTPC. I suspect thats because they are public bodies. Because they are "open" (owned by public), we assume that these monopolies can't be harmful. It can be argued that cost to consumer is the only benefit of these public monopolies. Why can't one argue that precious national resources (water, energy/electricity) are being wasted because their distribution is monopolized. Wastage is a bigger harm (because it will mean serving lesser people) than the single benefit of lower costs (even the point about low costs is arguable, but palatable).

PPP is an interesting thing in between, isn't it, neither public nor private! Is a PPP monopoly harmful? Well, any monopoly is harmful, unless there is watching over its profits (unreasonable?? - socialist concept?) and workings (using the monopoly to its advantage). 

We should watch this BIAL MRTPC thing with interest. Arguments and directions set in this case could bring a lot of cheer to Murali sir :)

BIAL vs Vivek Kulkarni out of jurisdiction

It appears that Competition Commission of India (formerly MRTP Commission) is not the appropriate place to challenge the 'Concession Agreement' as Shri Kulkarni found out:


and Deccan Herald on that issue: 

Two important observations


" MRTPC, however, rejected the petition on the ground that the agreement was entered into by the government and any such agreement in which the Centre is an approver or a party to such agreement, does not comes under the purview of monopolistic trade practices.

MRTPC bench headed by Justice O P Dwivedi declined to pass any order and said the MRTP Act "clearly bars the jurisdiction of this commission from taking congnizance as Government of India is a party to it." 

My comments:

1.) Any Act or Agreement to which the Governemnt of India is a party cannot be opposed to the basic constitutional framework or the laws contained within it. This is simple undergraduate law lessons. There fore, if the CA is opposed to certain sections of the MRTP Act, then the agreement is a void agreement.

2.) While I agree that MRTP bench is not the appropriate place to challenge this agreement. Only the Supreme Court can take cognisance of this and has the jurisdiction to judge on these matters.

It remains to be seen if Shri Kulkarni is planning to go upto the Supreme Court. comment guidelines

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