India’s antitrust body names new interim investigations head

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s antitrust body has appointed Sanjay Kumar Pandey as interim head of its investigations unit, a government order showed, at a time when the watchdog is probing big foreign companies.

Pandey has worked at the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for almost 14 years and is also an adviser in its advocacy and international cooperation division.

He will now take on additional responsibilities as the Director General of the investigations unit, said an internal order dated Nov. 25 seen by Reuters.

The CCI is currently investigating several high-profile global companies for alleged antitrust violations, including Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart, Google and liquor giant Pernod Ricard.

The interviews for hiring a permanent Director General are ongoing, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Pandey declined to comment, while the CCI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pandey is taking over from Atul Verma, whose tenure ended on Nov. 25. He previously served as a private secretary to Arun Jaitley, a senior government minister who died in 2019.

In September, the government appointed three new members to oversee cases at the watchdog, including a former government official from the commerce ministry and a former interim compliance officer of WhatsApp.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Varun H K)