The selection process for the Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairman’s post has gathered momentum with the Supreme Court nominee-led Panel commencing its interaction with interested candidates on Saturday. Over 40 candidates are in the fray for the CCI Chief’s post, whose selection has been marred by delays. 

Besides the SC nominee, who chairs the Panel, the other members are MCA Secretary, Union Law Secretary and two experts.

After scrapping the earlier shortlist of candidates, Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) had in February 2023 again issued an order inviting applications for the CCI Chief post. The last date for submitting applications was initially specified as March 9, but later extended to March 27.

MCA’s move to invite fresh applications came nearly four months after erstwhile CCI Chairperson Ashok Kumar Gupta demitted office on October 25, 2022.

Pivotal role

The Chairperson’s role is pivotal in overseeing CCI’s operations, setting strategic direction, and ensuring its alignment with the government’s vision for a competitive business environment.

The delay in having a full-time Chairperson has created several problems, including the lack of quorum that has come in the way of the Competition Commission taking a call on complaints such as those made against tech giant Google for alleged breach of the CCI’s ruling in the Android matter.

MCA had in July last year commenced the process of selection of a new CCI Chief and had issued an advertisement for this purpose.

Currently, CCI has only two members with one of them doubling up as Acting Chairperson. 

MCA had in January this year extended the tenure of CCI Acting Chairperson Sangeeta Verma until the date on which a new Chairperson is appointed or till any further orders. 

Verma, who is from the 1981 batch of the Indian Economic Service (IES), joined CCI as a Member on December 24, 2018.

Earlier, Verma was appointed as Acting Chairperson on October 25 last year for three months till the appointment of a regular Chairperson or till any further orders, whichever is the earliest.