The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) on Thursday issued inquiry notices to US biotech major Monsanto and its Indian arm Monsanto-Mahyco Biotech Ltd on a contempt petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh government.
The state government had on June 26 filed an application before MRTPC to initiate contempt proceedings against Monsanto-Mahyco for violating the Commission's orders to reduce the 'trait value' charged on its transgenic Bt cotton seeds to the level prevailing in China.
During the proceedings on Thursday, Monsanto argued that MRTPC should not take any action in this regard as the matter was now before the Supreme Court.
However, MM Sardana, acting chairman of MRPTC, said, "We have taken a view in the past also that if there is no specific stay from the Supreme Court, then proceedings in the Commission would go on."
The Commission has given the companies six weeks to file their replies and posted the matter for listing in August.
MMBL had on June 11 reduced the trait value from Rs 900 to Rs 880 per 450-gram packet. In China, the company charges a trait value equal to just Rs 40.
The state government had earlier contended that the reduction of Rs 20 by the company in trait value was not enough and MMBL failed to comply with MRTPC's directions.