The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) on Monday registered an appeal filed by leading developer DLF Ltd challenging an order by Competition Commission of India (CCI).
In August, the competition watchdog had imposed a penalty of Rs 630 crore on DLF for “abuse" of its dominant market position, in relation to an upper-end residential complex in Gurgaon. The tribunal will hear the appeal on November 9.
DLF submitted a 350-page appeal before the apex tribunal questioning the inference behind CCI classifying DLF as a “dominant player”in the relevant market, as well as its jurisdiction over the matter. DLF argued that it was not selling a service or goods, thus it cannot not be covered by the CCI. It also argued that the CCI should have sent a show-cause notice to the company before imposing the penalty. The company claimed that most complaints were from investors.
According to DLF, imposition of a fine in relation to its Belaire project in Gurgaon is the jurisdiction of a consumer court and not CCI. Harish Salve is appearing on behalf of DLF. Sources claimed the company has made a rebuttal and filed three annexures with the 2009-constituted Compat. A DLF spokesperson said: “We have appealed to Compat, but cannot give further details as the matter is sub judice.”
The complainants – Belaire Owners Association and Park Place Owners Association – had filed a caveat with the competition tribunal last week requesting it to give them a hearing before deciding on the case. The two flat owners associations are launching a website in a week or two for its members and for educating buyers about their case.
DLF moved Compat after almost two months of the August 16 CCI order. A group of buyers of DLF's Belaire project in Gurgaon had lodged a complaint with the CCI in 2010 alleging unfair trade practices, abuse of market dominance and brutal disregard of consumer rights.