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Enhancing Accountability: CCI’s 2024 Regulations on Interlocutory Applications

Introduction

The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) has enacted significant amendments through the CCI (General) Amendment Regulations, 2024[i], (‘the Regulations’). These amendments effective from 12.01.2024, amend the existing CCI (General) Regulations, 2009.

Definition of ‘Interlocutory Application’

A notable addition is the introduction of the term ‘Interlocutory Application’ (‘IA’) as a new clause (fa) in reg. 2. This term has been specifically defined with reference to applications made to the Commission in cases under s. 19 of the Competition Act, 2002 (‘Act of 2002’). It is important to note that this definition excludes applications made in response to any order or directive from the Commission. This addition marks a significant clarification in the procedural aspects of handling cases under the Act of 2002.

Registration and Scrutiny of IAs

Reg. 15, as amended in the parent regulations of 2009, introduces a new sub-reg. (6) focusing on the registration and scrutiny of IAs. This amendment mandates a formal process for the registration and numbering of each application. Additionally, it requires any defects in the application to be communicated to the applicant within seven days. The applicant then has five days from receiving this intimation to correct the defects notified. Failure to do so will result in the application being deemed invalid, emphasizing the need for accuracy and promptness in the submission process.

Amended Fee Structure for IAs

Reg. 49 (1A) introduces a new fee structure for IAs, a key change in the parent regulations of 2009. Under the new sub-reg. (1A), each IA submitted as per reg. 15(6) must include proof of payment of the applicable fee. This fee varies based on the entity type filing the application, specifying fees for individuals or HUFs to be Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 for NGOs, consumer associations, co-operative societies, and trusts, Rs. 1,000 for firms or companies, including one-person companies with a turnover up to Rs. 2 crores, and Rs. 5,000 for all other cases. This amendment is aimed at standardizing the application process and ensuring a level of commitment from the entities filing these applications.

Conclusion

The amendments reflect the continuous efforts of the CCI to streamline and enhance the regulatory processes governing competition law. The emphasis on the proper filing and scrutiny of IAs, coupled with the introduction of a fee structure, aims to ensure efficiency and accountability in the adjudication process.

This notification serves as a vital resource for legal professionals, businesses, and stakeholders, and it is crucial for relevant parties to be well-acquainted with these changes for effective navigation within the updated legal framework.


End Note

[i] Vide Notification No. (01 of 2024) L-3(2)/Regl. -Gen. (Amdt.)/2024/CCI dated 12.01.2024.

Authored by Nitish Solanki, Advocate at Metalegal Advocates. The views expressed are personal and do not constitute legal opinion.


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