RAMGOPAL MAHESWARI AND SONS Vs. STATE
MONO POLIES AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES COMMISSION
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(1.) THIS is an enquiry under Sections 10(a)(iv) and 37 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (hereinafter referred to as " the Act "). The respondent is a firm publishing/printing and selling the newspaper called "Nava-Bharat" from five places--Nagpur, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Raipur and Indore. It is alleged in the notice of enquiry dated the 29th September, 1975, that the respondent publishes, prints and sells the newspaper "Nava-Bharat" from five places, namely, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Raipur and Indore. It was alleged that the respondent had prescribed and was charging joint or combined advertisement rates for publication of advertisements in the above five editions of Nava-Bharat even when the advertisers want advertisements to be published in any one or more of the editions of the same paper but not in all the editions. It was further alleged that the said trade practice might have the effect of preventing, distorting or restricting competition and also tended to bring about manipulation of advertisement rates and imposed on the advertisers unjustified costs or restrictions.
(2.) After the pleadings were complete the Director of Investigation (hereinafter referred to as the " director ") made an application for directions under regulation 74 on 22nd March, 1976. The Commission made an order dated 30th April, 1976, granting leave to the director to deliver to the respondent certain interrogatories and directing the respondent to file an affidavit of documents. The respondent did not comply with the said order either within time or at all. On 7th June, 1976, the director made an application for striking off the defence of the respondent under Order 11, Rule 21 of the Civil Procedure Code. Nobody was present on behalf of the respondent at the hearing of the application on 2nd July, 1976, and accordingly on that day an order was passed striking off the defence of the respondent and the matter was posted for hearing on 9th July, 1976. On that day also nobody was present on behalf of the respondent and the Commission, therefore, passed an ex parte order on 9th July, 1976, to the following effect :
1. The respondents are restrained and prohibited from prescribing joint or combind advertisement rates for Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Jabalpur and Raipur editions of Nava-Bharat except as hereinafter provided.
2. The respondents are directed to prescribe separate advertisement charges for each of the above five editions of Nava-Bharat.
The combined advertisement rates for any two, three and four editions of Nava-Bharat shall not be less than 90% of the aggregate of the separate rates for those places. The combined rates for all the five editions shall not be less than 85% of the aggregate of the separate rates for all the aforesaid editions.
(3.) THE respondents shall be at liberty to round off the actual advertisement charges to nearest half rupee.;
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