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CCI Mulls Imposing Fee for Filing Interlocutory Applications

To ensure speedy disposal of cases, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has proposed to mandate registration of interlocutory applications and impose a fee on filing such applications vide amendment to the CCI (General) Regulations, 2009.

An interlocutory application has been defined as an application filed in a case being enquired under section 19 of the Competition Act, 2002. The said Section empowers the Commission to inquire into alleged contravention of provisions pertaining to the appreciable adverse effect of an agreement on competition and abuse of dominant position by any enterprise or group.

As per the draft amendment regulations, every such interlocutory application has to be registered and numbered. It has to be accompanied by proof of having paid the prescribed fee. Further, the applications have to be scrutinized according to Regulation 15(1) to (5) of the 2009 Regulations.

The fee applicable for individuals or HUFs would be Rs.500. Whereas, for firms or companies with turnover of up to Rs.2 Crore in the preceding year, the fee prescribed is Rs.1000. The same fee applies to NGOs, consumer associations, cooperative societies, and trusts. In all other cases, an increased fee of Rs.5000 would apply.

CCI’s background note dated December 12, 2023, states that this amendment was considered necessary in light of the increasing number of interlocutory applications being filed by parties in pending cases, on grounds such as adjournment, impleadment, extension, cross-examination, etc.

The comments on the draft amendment regulations may be shared by January 1, 2024.