The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has rejected allegations of anti-competitive conduct against the excise department and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in connection with technology to be provided by the IT firm to check the flow of illicit liquor in the national capital region.
An individual complainant had submitted that the Delhi government's Excise, Entertainment and Luxury Tax Department had entered into an agreement with TCS for providing an online supply chain information management portal to stop illicit liquor from entering the Delhi NCT region from adjoining states.
The complainant had claimed of having invented a product that could completely stop business of illicit liquor.
It was alleged that excise department and TCS had abused their dominant position in the market by not incorporating the complainant's invention with the portal - Excise Supply Chain Information Management System (ESCIMS).
In a recent order, the competition watchdog said that it found "no prima facie case" of violation of the fair trade norms.
CCI noted that the excise department "is primarily engaged in revenue collection, apart from other regulatory functions which does not involve any economic activity as described in the (Competition) Act".
It also noted that there is no information in the public domain to show the position of strength of TCS "which enables it to operate independently of the competitive forces prevailing in the relevant market".
"Prima facie, opposite party 2 (TCS) does not appear to be in a dominant position in the relevant market," it added.
The complainant had claimed to have invented 'Split Unique Number on Product Protection Cover', for which he has applied for a patent. ESCIMS enables to track every unit of stock accurately using 2-D barcode technologies which permanently tag bottles and cartons at the distillery or brewery stage and also tracks them through the supply chain until the point of sale. For this system to work, vendors are required to scan the barcodes of the bottle before sale to update the history of bottles.