Vasu files an­other case against ship­ping in­dus­try mo­nop­o­li­sa­tion

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

Court of Ap­peal last week is­sued no­tices on Ocean Net­work Ex­press (O.N.E) and al­leged part­ners on trade mo­nop­o­li­sa­tion and others re­turn­able for March 19.

The bench com­prised Jus­tices P.pad­man Surasena (Pres­i­dent/ca) and Shi­ran Goon­er­atne.

Par­lia­men­tar­ian Va­sudeva Nanayakkara, the whis­tle-blower in this case, filed Writ pe­ti­tion cit­ing Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Mer­chant Ship­ping, Ports & Ship­ping Min­is­ter, Fi­nance & Mass Me­dia Min­is­ter, Hay­leys Ad­vants Ltd., Mclarens In­vest­ments (Pvt) Ltd., Ocean Net­work Ex­press (O.N.E) Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., and UMI Ship­ping (Pvt) Ltd., as re­spon­dents.

Faisz Musthapha PC with Faiza Markar, Akeel Deen and Ra­jika Alu­vi­hare in­structed by B.s.u.fer­nando ap­peared for the pe­ti­tioner.

Pe­ti­tioner in his pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion al­leges that Hay­leys Ad­vants and/or Mclarens are al­legedly mo­nop­o­lis­ing and/or car­ry­ing out re­stric­tive prac­tices in the Sri Lankan ship­ping in­dus­try.

He states that the Hay­leys Ad­vants Ltd. has ac­quired 94.81per­cent equity of Sri Lanka Ship­ping Com­pany Ltd for a pur­chase of about Rs.4.9 bil­lion.

He im­pugns the ac­qui­si­tion is in line with the Hay­leys PLC groups strat­egy of ‘ex­pand­ing its mar­itime op­er­a­tions and paving way for the es­tab­lish­ment of the largest marine and ship­ping com­pany in Sri Lanka.’

He says Hay­leys Ad­vants Ltd. is said to con­trol 70 per­cent of Sri Lanka’s hip­ping and mar­itime ser­vices mar­ket and laments it is seek­ing to ac­quire more ac­qui­si­tions in the ship­ping sec­tor with a view to in­crease its mar­ket share in the fu­ture.

He states all those prin­ci­pals op­er­ate in Sri Lanka through com­pa­nies in­cor­po­rated to carry out their op­er­a­tions in col­lab­o­ra­tion with their re­spec­tive agents.

He al­leges that Hay­leys Ad­vants Ltd. and Mclarens In­vest­ments (Pvt) Ltd. are mo­nop­o­lis­ing and/or com­bin­ing and/or con­spir­ing with others to mo­nop­o­lise the ship­ping in­dus­try of Sri Lanka and the re­stric­tive prac­tices are openly and de­lib­er­ately be­ing car­ried out in re­la­tion to such in­dus­try.

Re­stric­tive prac­tices and mo­nop­o­li­sa­tion causes in­ef­fi­cient al­lo­ca­tion, so­cial and eco­nomic dis­par­ity, pro­vi­sion of in­fe­rior ser­vices, elimination of com­pe­ti­tion, dom­i­nant en­ti­ties, preven­tion of new en­trants and con­sid­er­able po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence to scut­tle po­lit­i­cal and reg­u­la­tory process, he elab­o­rates.

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