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CCI orders fresh probe against Jaiprakash Associates

business Updated: Sep 26, 2014 17:29 IST
Competition Commission

Competition Commission has ordered a fresh probe against Jaiprakash Associates for alleged unfair business practices in imposing unreasonable conditions on buyers at one of its realty projects.

The latest investigation has been ordered by the fair trade watchdog on a complaint filed by a buyer at the company's 'Kensington Park at Jaypee Greens' residential project in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The complaint alleged that the firm was imposing certain anti-competitive clauses in its agreements for buyers.

The Commission noted that the allegations made in the complaint were similar to certain other cases against Jaiprakash Associates wherein the regulator has already ordered a probe by its Director General (DG). CCI is presently probing Jaiprakash Associates in at least four other matters related to unfair trade practices in the real estate market.

After looking into the latest complaint, Competition Commission of India (CCI) formed "a prima facie opinion" that the company is in the dominant position in the residential market in Noida and Greater Noida and had violated fair trade norms. "The Commission is of the prima facie opinion that there appears to be a case of contravention of...the (Competition) Act in the matter," CCI said in the order dated September 24. Accordingly, CCI has asked DG to investigate the matter.

The Commission has found that some of the clauses of the agreement "prima facie, appear to be unfair, one sided and loaded in favour of opposite party (Jaiprakash Associates)".

Along with Jaiprakash Associates, CCI has also ordered probe into "the role of the officials/persons who at the time of such contravention were in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company". While noting that there were other real estate players in the market in Noida region, the fair trade regulator said that "the land bank available with Jaypee Group is much higher than that available with any other developer.