CCI (Lesser Penalty) Regulations 2024

On 20-2-2024, the Competition Commission of India notified the Competition Commission of India (Lesser Penalty) Regulations, 2024. The provisions came into force on 20-2-2024.

Key Points:

  1. These Regulations are governed by the Competition Act, 2002 and repeals CCI (Lesser Penalty) Regulations, 2009with effect from 20-2-2024.

  2. Conditions for lesser penalty or lesser penalty plus:

    • Applicant seeking the benefit will have to:

      ✓ Cease to have further participation in the cartel;

      ✓ Provide vital disclosure of information regarding alleged contravention;

      ✓ Provide relevant information, documents and evidence;

      ✓ Co-operate genuinely, fully, continuously and expeditiously through investigation;

      ✓ Not conceal, destroy, manipulate or remove the relevant documents.

      ✓ Not give false evidence or omit to submit relevant information.

    • Applicants should provide names of individuals involved in the cartel on its behalf and for whom lesser penalty or lesser penalty plus is sought by the applicant.

    • The application might get rejected by the Commission:

      ✓ if the applicant fails to provide full and true disclosure of information and evidence; and

      ✓ If the applicant fails to comply with the conditions.

    • Upon rejection, the applicant will be subjected to inquiry for contravention.

    • It is on the discretion of the Commission to reduce the monetary penalty having due regard to:

      ✓ stage at which the applicant comes forward with the disclosure;

      ✓ evidence already in possession of the Commission;

      ✓ quality of the information provided;

      ✓ fulfilment of conditions;

      ✓ entire facts and circumstances of the case.

  3. Lesser Penalty will be granted in the following manner:

    • In the case where an applicant is the first one to make a vital disclosure by submitting evidence of a cartel, enabling the Commission to form a prima facie opinion regarding the existence of a cartel, the penalty can be granted upto or equal to 100%.

    • The applicant/individual after the first applicant will also be granted benefit of reduction of penalty if the information provided by them is significant and adds value to the already available evidence with the Commission/Director General.

    • The following reduction in monetary penalty will be granted to the applicants in case the name of the individuals involved in cartel is disclosed:

      ✓ applicant marked as second in priority- up to or equal to 50%.

      ✓ applicant marked as third in priority- up to or equal to 30%.

  4. Lesser Penalty Plus will be granted in the following manner: In case where an applicant who has earlier made full, true and vital disclosure of the information about a cartel, discloses about another cartel, can be granted an additional reduction in penalty up to or equal to 30% of the penalty imposed with regard to the first cartel besides obtaining benefit of reduction up to or equal to 100% in respect of newly disclosed cartel.

  5. The identity of the Applicant, information, documents and evidence furnished by the applicant will be treated as confidential by the Commission/ Director General.

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