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CCI looks at broad one-year time frame to decide cases

CCI refers a case to its investigation arm -- Director General -- only if there is prima-facie evidence of violations of competition norms

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Competition Commission plans to issue final orders within a broad time frame of one year in matters where it decides to carry out detailed investigations.

The fair trade watchdog has adopted a broad philosophy of "3-6-3" period for deciding matters, according to its chief Ashok Chawla.

At present, Competition Commission of India (CCI) on an average takes about one-and-a-half years to decide on matters where investigations have been ordered by it.

The board plan of the Commission, which keeps a tab on unfair trade practices at the market place, also comes at a time when the number of complaints received by the regulator seem to be on the rise.

Explaining the idea of "3-6-3", CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla said the regulator would take about three months to decide whether the matter requires further investigation.

Once a decision on probe is taken, the same would be completed in next six months. After that, the Commission expects to complete the process of hearing the concerned parties and pursuant enforcement action within next three months.

"... The mantra that we are giving for this particular year that has started is that what ever comes to us we should decide and finalise within one year," Chawla said here on Friday.

As a general thumb rule, competition matters do take time, he added. "By and large 12 months, with some internal variation, if possible or needed is what we should be aiming to deliver," Chawla noted.

CCI refers a case to its investigation arm -- Director General (DG) -- only if there is prima-facie evidence of violations of competition norms. Otherwise, the matter is rejected at the initial stage itself.

In the last financial year (2012-13), 86 information were filed with the Commission and they were related to various sectors including real estate, film industry, finance and infrastructure.

Out of them, about 28 cases were referred to the DG for detailed probe. "By the end of the reporting period (2012-13), the investigation process was completed in 27 cases (including cases referred in the previous year)," as per CCI's annual report for the last fiscal.

First Published: Sun, February 16 2014. 13:10 IST
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