CCI Proposes to Revamp ‘Confidentiality Information Sharing’ for Swift Case Disposal

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft changes by March 27
CCI Proposes - Revamp - Confidentiality Information Sharing - Swift Case Disposal - taaxscan

The Competition Commission of India ( CCI ) is proposing changes to its confidentiality regime, aiming to streamline access to commercially sensitive information during proceedings.

The “Confidentiality Ring” concept, initially introduced to ensure fair defence during investigations, will now be subject to prescribed timelines for document access and affidavit submissions. This move comes as a response to delays in meeting requirements such as filing undertakings and conducting inspections.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft changes by March 27. Additionally, CCI has revised charges for inspections, considering economic inflation. The updated process includes systematic timelines for document access and requires undertakings to be submitted on affidavit, unlike the previous self-certification method.

However, experts like Vaibhav Choukse from JSA Advocates & Solicitors pointed out challenges, particularly for cases involving foreign nationals, due to the time-consuming consularization/apostilization process, reported The Hindu.

Confidentiality Ring of CCI

On April 8, 2022, the CCI introduced changes to regulations regarding confidential information handling in its proceedings. The amendments, reflected in Regulation 35 of the Competition Commission of India (General) Regulations, 2009, aim to facilitate fair access to confidential documents during investigations.

The concept of a “confidentiality ring” has been established, allowing representatives of involved parties access to confidential information, including reports and orders. Parties must undertake not to disclose this information outside the ring, with penalties imposed for breaches. The inclusion of complainants in the ring is at the discretion of the CCI.

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