Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) added a new regulation allowing lawyers to accompany clients during investigations by the Director General (DG), albeit with a few riders. And lawyers in Tamil Nadu have not taken too kindly to the restrictions imposed by the Commission on the appearance of lawyers..The Competition Commission of India (General) Amendment Regulations, 2018 envision the insertion of a new Section 46A to the 2009 Regulations, which place the following restrictions on lawyers accompanying clients in DG probes:.a) The Advocate shall not be allowed to accompany such person, unless a request in writing accompanied by a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney is duly submitted to the DG, prior to commencement of the proceedings..b) The Advocate shall not sit in front of the person so summoned..c) The Advocate shall not be at a hearing distance and shall not interact, consult, confer or in any manner communicate with the person, during his examination on oath..Leading the protests against the new Regulation is Bar Council of India Co-Chairman and Senior Advocate S Prabhakaran, who terms it as a draconian one..“The amended Regulation says you have to submit a Vakalatnama before the DG. Why should we get permission from him? We are entitled to defend our client’s case. As per Section 30 of the Advocates Act, we can appear before any forum, tribunal or statutory authority.”.Prabhakaran is particularly miffed with sub-regulation (b)..“Is this not a form of untouchability? This profession is a noble one. How can such a rule be passed without getting approval from the Bar Council of India? It is very unfortunate that these executives are sitting in their ivory towers and passing these kinds of regulations.”.The power conferred upon the DG to recommend debarment of a lawyer has no basis in law, Prabhakaran said..“How can you debar advocates? Only the Bar Council of India or the State Bar Councils can debar advocates.”.He also revealed that the Tamil Nadu Advocates’ Association has sent a communication to the President of India, Prime Minister of India and others, urging that action be taken to annul the Regulation in question..Should no action be taken, the Association is also planning to challenge the Regulation in the Madras High Court or the Supreme Court. A decision in this regard will be taken after the General Body meeting of the Association takes place..Prabhakaran also pointed out the larger issue of the composition of the CCI. He recently urged the Commission to include representation from the judicial side, given that it performs adjudicatory functions..“The CCI is an adjudicatory body, but it has no judicial members. There are only technical members and IAS officers sitting and passing these regulations.”.Image for representational purposes only.