Delhi HC dismisses DLF plea questioning CCI jurisdiction

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed DLF Home Developers Ltd's plea questioning whether CCI had the jurisdiction to probe allegations of anti- competitive practices against it in respect of its residential projects in Gurgaon.

Justice Manmohan dismissed DLF's petitions saying "they have been filed to prevent Competition Commission of India (CCI) from passing orders on merits" with respect to the complaints against the builder.

CCI is currently probing allegations against DLF of having drafted a one-sided agreement with flat buyers in its New Town Heights project in Gurgaon.

The court, in its six-page judgement, said that CCI and the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) have held that the ant-trust regulator has the jurisdiction to entertain the complaints against DLF and "it would be futile to ask CCI to re-decide the issue of jurisdiction" as had been sought in the petitions.

"This court is also of the opinion that present writ petitions have been filed to prevent the respondent no. 1 - CCI from passing orders on merits. The intent of the petitioner in filing the present writ petitions is to get the issue of jurisdiction decided against them and then to challenge it by way of writ petitions and to ensure that in the meantime matters are not heard on merits.

"Consequently, present writ petitions and applications are dismissed. However, it is clarified that the aforesaid observations are in the context of the present writ petitions and the respondent no. 1 - CCI would decide the matters on their own merits," the court said.

It also said that if DLF is aggrieved by the final decision of CCI, it shall be at liberty to challenge the same by way of an appeal.

CCI had in 2011 imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on DLF for abusing its dominant position in the real estate market. The order was upheld by the COMPAT in May.

CCI's order had come on the complaints of flat owners/allottees of Belaire, Park Place and Magnolia residential projects of DLF. They had complained of imposition of unfair and discriminatory conditions by the builder.

Source : Date : Sunday, October 12, 2014

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