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NEW DELHI : New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has relaxed a rule that insists on the managing director or a director of a business to sign the pleadings made before the watchdog, an official statement said.

The fair trade regulator said the relaxation is given in view of the difficulties faced by parties representing companies in various cases. The new rule which allows any authorized employee of the business to sign pleadings, covers not just companies, but also other legal forms such as partnerships and limited liability partnerships.

This is in addition to existing mode of pleading by the managing director, or in his absence, by a director authorized by the board of directors. However, the authorized representative of the business must be an employee of that entity and not a professional such as its counsel. The counsel may also append her signature to the pleadings if so desired. The documents before CCI should also include a copy of the authorization given to the employee to endorse the pleadings, the regulator said.

The regulator also said it will continue to accept electronic filings relating to anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominance and regulation of mergers and acquisitions. Earlier, the regulator had given time till end of June to submit hard copies of electronic filings made till end of March 2021. Parties have now been given extra time till end of July to meet this requirement, CCI said in a separate statement. The relief is keeping in view the prevailing circumstances and covid-19 pandemic in the country, CCI stated.

The ministry of corporate affairs last month allowed businesses to hold shareholder meetings in audio visual mode or by postal ballot till end of December in view of the pandemic. This flexibility to hold extraordinary general meetings or EGMs, which refer to shareholder meetings other than the annual general meeting, granted last year was to expire on 30 June.

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