Govt to give search and seizure powers to CCI chairman

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SummaryThe ministry of corporate affairs is all set to grant direct powers to the chairman of the Competition Commission of India to authorise ‘search’ and ‘seizure’ related to investigations.

The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) is all set to grant direct powers to the chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to authorise ‘search’ and ‘seizure’ related to investigations. MCA also wants to rework the cap on days required for the CCI to decide on applications with regard to mergers and acquisition (M&A) to 180 days as opposed to 210 days said MCA minister Sachin Pilot on Thursday.

As per the current norms, only the director general of CCI upon authorisation by the chief metropolitan magistrate, Delhi, has the powers to carry out search and seizure in any investigations. This is under Section 41(3) of the Competition Act, 2002.

According to Pilot who took charge as the minister of state (independent charge), MCA, last month, these changes will be brought in the form of amendments to the Competition Act, 2002.

Pilot also informed the Lok Sabha that there are plans to reduce the number of days required by the CCI to decide on applications seeking approval for merger and acquisition of companies. "The number of days for CCI to decide on M&A deals is proposed to be reduced to 180 days via a suitable amendment," he said.

The Cabinet has already approved these amendments early last month.

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