CCI proposes filing fee to expedite disposal of cases

In a significant move to ensure speedy disposal of cases, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has proposed a new set of regulations, including the introduction of fees for filing various miscellaneous applications. This proposal is aimed at streamlining the processes and reducing unnecessary delays in the proceedings.

The new regulations will involve levying fees for applications that seek adjournments, extensions, cross-examinations, the establishment of confidentiality rings, third-party applications and impleadment applications. This change is expected to discourage frivolous or unnecessary applications, thereby facilitating a more efficient handling of cases.

Fee on interlocutory applications ranges from ₹500 to ₹5,000 depending on the category of the applicant.

By imposing these fees, the Commission aims to deter parties from making superfluous requests that can prolong the resolution of cases. This move is anticipated to bring about a more disciplined approach to the proceedings before the Commission, thus contributing to the quicker resolution of competition law disputes. 

CCI on Tuesday floated draft amendments to its general regulations for this purpose inviting public comments. The last date to provide feedback on the proposal is January 01, 2024.

EXPERT’s TAKE 

Samir Gandhi, Partner & Co-Founder, Axiom5 Law Chambers, said the Commission proposes to through the latest amendments introduce a process for numbering and paying a filing fee when parties file interim application at any time during an antitrust proceeding. 

“It is a welcome move since the CCI receives numerous applications in its ongoing antitrust cases where parties file multiple such Interlocutory Applications (IA) on various grounds – eg adjournment, seeking extension, cross examination etc”, he said.

There were earlier no fees payable for filing such IAs and the CCI has introduced this for the first time, he said. 

“I hope that the payment of this fees for processing such IAs will be accompanied by a corresponding obligation for the CCI to process, review and decide such applications in an expeditious and time bound manner,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi highlighted that the Commission seems to have made this change with twin objectives: To streamline the procedure for tracking interlocutory applications so that they are not lost in the maze of record and their faster disposal; and to discourage filing of frivolous applications.

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