The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) has directed anti trust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) to determine “the extent and manner,” in which DLF needs to modify buyer agreements in its ultra-luxury projects Belaire and Park Place at Gurgaon.
“... For this purpose, the draft modified terms and conditions submitted by both the parties be duly considered,” Compat said in its order dated March 29, 2012.
The case relates to an August 2011 order by the CCI wherein the anti-trust body, on a complaint filed by buyer association Belaire, had imposed a fine R630 crore on DLF and ordered it (DLF) to modify buyer agreements such that they become more buyer-friendly.
CCI had said that DLF violated Section 4 (2) of the Competition Act, 2002, which refers to direct and indirect imposition of unfair conditions by a company with respect to sale of goods or services. CCI had then said that buyer friendly practices coming from market leader DLF could be followed by other smaller developers.
On DLF’s appeal, Compat in its order in November 2011 had stayed the R630 crore fine imposed by CCI. However, in its latest order, Compat directed CCI to formulate and determine the terms and conditions by which buyer agreement needs to be modified by DLF and ordered it (CCI) to take suggestions both from buyer associations and the developer.
“The association’s application for handing over possession without payment of due amounts and without completion of paperwork has been dismissed by Compat, ,’’ a DLF spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
“It is our understanding that the issue of modification in clauses can be reviewed and if required only after compat has adjudicated on the numerous issues of jurisdiction, relevant market, dominance in relevant market and abuse of dominance in relevant market. The order thus needs to be reviewed to this extent and our legal counsels are working accordingly,’’ the spokesperson said.
Since August last year, DLF has found itself knocking on the CCI doors for three of its ultra-luxury residential projects at Gurgaon — Belaire, Park Place and Magnolia. In all three cases CCI has rapped DLF for abuse of its dominant market position to the disadvantage of apartment buyers.