The Competition Commission of India's probe arm Director General (DG) now has more flexibility in carrying out investigations, with latest amendment to regulations.
Under the existing framework, cases where there is prima-facie evidence of competition law violations are referred for detailed investigations by the DG. In such cases, the watchdog takes a final call after going through probe reports. The DG's findings may or may not be accepted by the regulator.
The Competition Commission of India (General) Regulations have been amended, according to a notification dated February 6.
"The report of the Director General shall contain his findings together with all the evidences or documents or statements or analyses collected during the investigation," the notification said.
Earlier, the DG's report was required to have "findings on each of the allegations made in the information or reference, as the case may be" along with all the evidences or documents or statements or analyses collected during the investigation.
With the latest amendment, the CCI has removed these fetters, in light with a Supreme Court's decision, Karan Singh Chandhiok, Partner and Head of Competition at law firm Chandhiok & Mahajan, said.
"In 2017, the Supreme Court in Excel Crop Care vs CCI has clarified that, during the course of an investigation, if the DG comes across other facts or conduct that reveals a contravention, the DG could look into such conduct. In these circumstances, the DG is not restricted to the CCI's order on investigation or the complaint filed before it," he noted. He also said the earlier regulation confined the DG to the allegations made in the information (complaint) or the reference only.
The Commission keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors in the market place.