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In Setback to DLF Supreme Court vacates stay granted to DLF on High Court Order Restraining It From Marketing Crest Project in Gurgaon

In a setback to DLF Ltd, the Supreme Court on Monday vacated a 2013 stay granted against a Punjab and Haryana high court order restraining it from selling or marketing its project in Gurgaon called The Crest.

A bench comprising of justices T.S. Thakur and V. Gopala Gowda were hearing the case filed by the Resident Welfare Association of DLF Park Place. The association had alleged that the land of their society was being used by DLF in its other project named The Crest.

The 19.33-acre disputed project will now come under the high court order till the case is finally decided.

CCI orders probe against Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida realty project

NEW DELHI: Fair trade regulator CCI has ordered a probe against realty firm Jaypee Greensfor alleged violation of the competition norms in a housing project in Greater Noida.

This is the second major probe against a realty major in the NCR region.

The case relates to a project involving construction and sale of villas in Greater Noida area in the national capital region.

The investigation has been ordered by CCI on a complaint filed by a buyer, who had booked a villa worth Rs 4.05 crore for which he had already paid 95 per cent of the total cost but was allotted the accommodation after 8-month delay.

The complaint alleged that the firm was abusing its dominant position.

The Competition Commission of India said it examined the provisional allotment letter issued by Jaypee and found that "some of its clauses as elaborated in the earlier part of this order, prima facie, are unfair, one sided and heavily loaded in favour of the Opposite Party (Jaypee Greens)".

The Commission said conduct of the Jaypee "emanating from its dominant position in the relevant market, prima facie amounts to imposition of unfair terms and conditions on the Informant and other buyers of Villa in Jaypee Greens which is anti-competitive in terms of...(the Competition) Act.

"Moreover, in some earlier cases...against the Jaypee Group, similar clauses were held to be unfair, onerous, one-sided by the Commission in its prima facie orders," the regulator said in its order.

CCI has already passed orders against some other builders in the NCR region, including the realty giant DLF, in several other cases.

After looking into the allegations, the Commission said it is of the view that "prima facie" the conduct of Jaypee amounts to abuse of dominant position.

Accordingly, CCI has directed its investigation arm, Director General (DG), to probe the matter and complete the inquiry within 60 days.

During the course of the investigation, the DG would also look into the conduct of officials of Jaypee, CCI said in its order.

DLF allowed to deposit remaining Rs 480 crore fine in instalments

Real estate major DLF on November 28 got a breather from the Supreme Court which allowed it to deposit in monthly instalments the remaining Rs 480 crore of the Rs 630 crore fine slapped on it by Competition Commission of India (CCI) for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu ordered that the real estate firm will commence the payment of instalments of Rs 75 crore from January 15 next year.

The DLF had till November 28 deposited Rs 150 crore with the apex court registry.

The court in its August 27 order had said the Registry will be at liberty to invest it in any of the nationalised banks.

DLF had moved the apex court last week expressing difficulty in meeting the November 26 deadline to deposit the entire Rs 630 crore as a pre-condition to entertain its appeal.

It had sought six months’ time to comply with the direction. But the bench had asked it to deposit Rs 50 crore within three weeks and the rest Rs 580 crore in the next three months, that is before November 27.

The real estate company has sought more time for depositing rest of the amount claiming that it was in serious financial difficulty, which was aggravated by SEBI’s decision to ban the company and six of its senior officials from accessing the capital markets for three years for an alleged non-disclosure in the 2007 IPO filing.

The Grimes & Crimes of Builder Navin Raheja, Chairman NAREDCO & Raheja Developers

Just in time for the Diwali holidays comes the latest article on The Grimes & Crimes of NAREDCO Chairman, Navin Raheja - with new and updated info. 

The article is in progress, and you can see it being finished over the Diwali weekend at

NAREDCO Chairman Navin Raheja,
urf CMD Raheja Developers,
Jo pechle 8 Saal main hazaron ghar launch karke,
Bana paye aajtak 9 ghar hi poore nahi,
Chale yeh builder PM Modi ko patane aur samjhane,
Ki agle 8 Saal main 9,00,00,000 ghar kaise hain banane. Ha ha.

Please do leave your comments in the comment box at the bottom of the article, and look forward to your suggestions & info to add/remove from the article. 

Posted by BuilderScoop
COMPAT upholds CCI’s Rs 630 crore penalty on DLF

In a development that will provide succour to thousands of aggrieved home-buyers across the country, the Competition Appellate Tribunal today upheld a penalty of Rs 630 crore on real estate firm DLF for abusing their dominant position in industry against buyers.

"The court today dismissed the appeal of DLF and upheld the Rs 630 crore penalty imposed by CCI," said Vaibhav Gaggar, partner at law firm Gaggar & Associates, who was representing the two buyers associations.

"COMPAT found DLF abusive in its practices, especially in relation to modifying super area, common area, increasing the height of the building midway through the project and imposing holding charges," he said.

Sanjay Bhasin, president of the Belaire Owners Association said this order has paved the way for buyers in the DLF projects to file compensation claims. 

DLF moves Supreme Court against order by COMPAT
DLF has moved Supreme Court against an order of COMPAT that held the company guilty of abuse of its dominant position in New Gurugram.

India's largest real estate firm DLF has moved Supreme Court against an order of Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) that held the company guilty of abuse of its dominant position in New Gurugram with regards to its project New Town Heights.

Home buyers in the project had filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India saying the company had lured them into buying homes under a pre-launch scheme and that the layout plan was not approved.

A DLF spokesperson said that the company has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against an order passed by COMPAT in November 2015 relating to New Town Heights where it held DLF as a dominant player in the New Gurugram market.

Admitting DLF's plea, the Supreme Court issued notices to the respondents and said that it will be clubbed with other cases relating to its projects.

SC directs Punjab & Haryana HC to hear writ against DLF in Crest case

Supreme Court on Monday directed the Punjab and Haryana High Court to expeditiously decide a writ petition filed by the residents association of DLF Park Place in Gurgaon against DLF for launching its new project Crest on land that the residents claim belongs to Park Place and also for FAR violations.

The Park Place Association had filed the writ in 2013 against the builder after which the High Court had stayed DLF from marketing and selling the project. A Supreme Court, bench, however had later stayed all further proceedings before the High Court and since then the matter had been pending.

The association had recently filed an application with the Supreme Court regarding the matter.

DLF and Vaibhav Gaggar, advocate who appeared for Park Place Association said they cannot comment as the matter is sub judice.

Harsh Sehgal, president, Park Place Association said that while the brochure mentioned 30 acres of land for the Park Place project, the apartment buyers agreement reduced it to 12.67 acres and later in the deed of declaration, it was finally mentioned as around 19 acres including two acres for a club.

"Also, FAR norms required 46.43 acres to be allocated for Park Place based on the final built up area," Sehgal said.

He said that buyers at Crest may find themselves in difficulty if the land on which the project is coming up is found illegal by the court.

DLF had launched the Crest project in Phase 5 of DLF in Gurgaon in 2013 and has so far sold 1.17 million sq ft of the total 2.61 million sq ft of space in the project. This is a high margin project for DLF, with prices hovering around Rs 15,000 per sq ft.

The stock of India's largest real estate developer DLF was down -15.56% on BSE at closing time on Monday.

DLF had earlier this month reported a 5% drop in its net profit to Rs 121.55 crore for the June quarter on higher operational expenses and finance cost. Total revenues, however, rose to Rs 2,345.62 crore from Rs 1,851.6 crore a year ago.

CCI finds DLF guilty of 'unfair' business practices in New Town Heights, Gurgaon

DLF, country's largest real estate firm, has once again come under the scanner of Competition Commission of India (CCI). The competition watchdog has found the realty firm guilty of "unfair and abusive" business practices in one of a housing projects in Gurgaon.

CCI in its order has asked DLF Gurgaon Home Developers Private Ltd and its group companies to "cease and desist" from such unfair trade practices. It, however, did not impose any fresh penalty. A fine of Rs 630 crore has already been slapped on DLF for a similar violation in a separate case.

"The Commission is of the view that since a penalty of Rs 630 crore has already been imposed on the opposite party (DLF) in the Belaire's case for the same time period to which contravention in the present cases belong, no financial penalty under this required to be imposed," CCI said in its 49-page order.

  • CCI has asked DLF Gurgaon Home Developers Private Limited and its group companies to "cease and desist" from such unfair trade practices
  • However, it did not impose any fresh monetary penalty as Rs 630-crore fine has already been slapped on DLF for similar violation during the same period in a separate case
  • In a complaint, it was alleged the firm had lured home buyers to book apartments at "very attractive" rates in DLF New Town Heights project under a pre-launch scheme

Last year, CCI had imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on DLF for alleged unfair practices in The Belaire project in Gurgaon, which the company has challenged in the Supreme Court. Also, last year, the Competition Appellate Tribunal had upheld the penalty of Rs 630 crore. Subsequently, SC asked DLF to deposit the penalty amount in tranches, pending the final order.

DLF in a statement said, "We have received the order passed by the Competition Commission of India today and we are still studying it. We will take necessary steps as advised by legal counsels. It is, however, very surprising that in Gurgaon there are tens of companies which offer flats in the same range of Rs 45-50 lakh. It is also well-known that that tens of thousands of flats are offered in the area of Gurgaon within the same price range, with same amenities and in the same product line. We have also noticed that no penalty has been imposed. We are studying the order in details and go as advised by legal counsel."

Thursday's order was passed on an application by three different home-buyers, after which the CCI ordered the investigation against the company - finding it prima facie abusing its dominant position in Gurgaon.

According to buyers, the company had lured them to book apartments at "very attractive" rates in DLF New Town Heights project under a pre-launch scheme. As per the order, the complainant booked the apartments and made the initial payments, after which they were asked to make payments under an installment plan on different dates. However, they did not make the payments as "there was no sign of construction/development at the project site..."

Later, they sought cancellation of allotment and requested for refund of the amounts paid by them, which the developer refused to do, saying that applications signed by buyers were irrevocable and the request for cancellation cannot be acceded to. Agreeing with the applicants, CCI's investigative arm found merit in the allegations regarding forfeiture of booking amount in case a buyer wishes to cancel the allotment.

DLF is also contesting a ban a markets ban imposed by SEBI for non-disclosures during its IPO in 2007. Though the ban was overturned by SAT, SEBI has challenged it in the Supreme Court.

DLF's plan of listing its rental assets as a REIT is stuck because of this ban. DLF's inability to access capital markets could impact its fund raising programme, as a listed company and for potential listing of its commercial assets as REITs. And, DLF would have to resort to large asset sales to reduce debt in the future, according to a report by Macquarie Capital.

Over the past two years, DLF has sold almost all its non-core assets, aiming to bring down debt, which had once reached Rs 23,000 crore.

Supreme Court to DLF

E Jayashree Kurup, 

Pay in Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) of Rs 75 crore per month, if you don't have cash to pay in one go, with this verdict, the message from the Supreme Court to the developer DLF Ltd is clear - pay in any form, but pay in cash; land in lieu of money does not work.

In the much publicized Belair Gurgaon case against property giant DLF Ltd, the Supreme Court yielded to Competition Commission of India's (CCI) advocate, Amit Sibal's argument that CCI did not have the expertise to unlock the value of land and therefore would need the compensation paid in money. DLF was ordered to pay the Rs 630 crore penalty imposed by the CCI for exploiting its dominant position in the Gurgaon property market against consumers in three projects in the city.

With this order the EMI concept has now shifted to the other side of the table. Defaulting developers who are penalized by courts with stiff compensations cannot offload the land that they have held as stock in trade to compensate the cash component. This order has come as a relief for the developer which had to pay Rs 630 crore as compensation and has already agreed to pay over Rs 100 crore on November 27. However, this is a particularly unkind cut at a time when the property markets have been slow and even to the developer it is not the best time to sell off land to keep its commitments.

This is a clear case of the well-earning and well-informed upper middle class buyers who are senior professionals across corporate work forces refusing to bow down to opaque practices followed by the developer community. While the legal routes had traditionally taken long, the CCI angle of being dominant players in markets and therefore putting consumers on the back foot as a unacceptable trade practice has now opened a new line of recourse to consumers who have formed activist groups to pressure the system into drafting trade practices acceptable to both parties. Clearly the consumer groups are not willing to take no for an answer.

In a scenario where many developers are over-leveraged and struggling with weak sales in the market, the penalties imposed are a double whammy as the lenders have already upped the risk perception in lending to the sector.

Will improve the way real estate market works: CCI chief Ashok Chawla after SC's DLF order

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Ashok Chawla, Chairperson, Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that the regulator is looking more cases of the same type. In fact, he said there is one investigation undertaken based on some complaints received.

“Our intention is to improve the way real estate market works,” he said.

Chawla said that they are looking at other matters of unfair trade practices as well.

Chawla said CCI will set up its own monitoring cell to see where malpractices are happening, and not just rely on consumer complaints.

Supreme Court directs DLF to submit penalty of Rs 630 crore; stock plunges

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court ordered India's biggest listed real estate developer DLF to pay a Rs 630 crore penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in three months, brushing aside arguments that the levy was excessive and sending the stock of the debt-laden developer down 4.44%.

CCI had imposed the penalty on DLF in August 2011 for using its dominant position in the market to engage in unfair trade practices such as making consumers sign inequitable agreements. The commission had faulted 16 clauses in the agreements as being unfair. The penalty was calculated at 7% of the average turnover of the company. The Belaire, Park Place and Magnolia apartment owners' associations had moved the trust regulator, which found in their favour.

Supreme Court directs DLF to submit penalty of Rs 630 crore; stock plungesThe Competition Appellate Tribunal or Compat had stayed the recovery of the amount subject to an undertaking by DLF to pay the amount with 9% interest. The company then approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay and was rebuffed on Wednesday.

Appearing for DLF, senior lawyer Harish Salve argued that the penalty was excessive. It could at the most be a percentage of the value of the three apartment complexes (Park Palace, Magnolia and Belaire), he said. The three, all located in Gurgaon, are worth a total Rs 1,100 crore, he said. But CCI took into account the average annual turnover throughout the country to impose the penalty, he said.

Home Buyers Feel Let Down by India's Top Builders

Nitin Grover, a 33-year-old lawyer, has been dreaming of moving from his rented home to an apartment of his own. In 2008, Mr. Grover and his wife, who were paying monthly rent of 30,000 rupees, or nearly $500 at the current exchange rate, surveyed the real estate landscape around New Delhi, India’s capital. They decided to buy a place in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the city.

The Grovers chose an apartment from Delhi Land and Finance, or DLF, one of India’s largest real estate companies. They took a loan to buy an apartment worth 8 million rupees, and DLF promised to deliver it three years later, in February 2011.

But more than two and a half years after the promised delivery date, DLF has yet to turn over the apartment to the Grovers, who now have a 3-year-old son. ‘‘I thought once I got the house in 2011, we wouldn’t need to pay for a rented apartment along with our loan repayments,’’ Mr. Grover said. ‘‘But DLF kept delaying the construction, and what was worse is that none of the buyers had any rights to take them to task for it.’’

DLF told to pay Rs 50 crore to IP Support Services for breach of agreement in Horizon Center, DLF Phase 5.

Sobia Khan | 26 May 2015, 12:12 PM IST

If it fails to pay the money in eight weeks, DLF will have to pay a further 15 per cent interest on the total amount, according to the ruling...

BENGALURU: An arbitral tribunal has told DLF, the country's top real estate developer, to pay Rs 50 crore as compensation to a private firm for failing to honour an agreement to build a commercial property in Gurgaon.

The Arbitral Tribunal of Delhi High Court, presided by retired justice Ajit Prakash Shah, the current chairman of the Law Commission of India, on May 21, ordered DLF to pay a total of Rs 94 crore that includes damages compensation, refund of advance amount along with 11 per cent interest per annum and costs of the proceedings, to IP Support Service (India) Ltd for unilaterally terminating an agreement.

If it fails to pay the money in eight weeks, DLF will have to pay a further 15 per cent interest on the total amount, according to the ruling. DLF said it has yet to decide on the future course of action.

"This is a private dispute arising out of contract between two companies and was referred to arbitration. We are awaiting legal advice for further action on this matter," the company told ET in an email response.

CD Kingsly, chief finance officer at Delhi-based IP Support Services, alleged that DLF breached the contract for economic reasons, to take advantage of substantial increase in prices.

"The building should have handed over in 2012 and we would have started earning a rental of Rs 10,000 sq ft plus appreciation cost," he said.

IP, represented by the law firm Remfry & Sagar, said it entered into an agreement with DLF in February, 2010, whereby the latter agreed to sell a standalone tower of approximately 100,127 sq ft to IP at DLF's site in Phase V, Gurgaon.

"Within nine months of signing the agreement and after having received 25 per cent of the total sale consideration amounting to an excess of Rs 26 crore, DLF sought to unilaterally terminate the agreement," it said.

DLF is currently constructing a commercial property, Horizon Center, positioned to be Gurgaon's landmark business commercial and retail hub, in the area. The project is spread over 14 acres. IP Support Services is involved in acquiring, managing, letting out, licensing, providing use of buildings, fixtures and fittings and other infrastructural facilities in the field of intellectual property rights in New Delhi and Gurgaon.

DLF files fresh undertaking in SC, to pay fine in tranches

Real estate major on Wednesday filed a in the Supreme Court, asking it be allowed to deposit balance Rs 480 crore of a total Rs 630-crore fine imposed on it by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in six monthly instalments, starting January 15. A bench headed by judge S J Mukhopadhaya allowed the contention of the firm and said it would commence final hearing on DLF's plea against CCI's order from February 11.

The bench also directed the realty major to amend its flat buyers' agreements. "We will first hear the question of jurisdiction. Whether the Commission had the jurisdiction or a consumer forum," the bench, also comprising judge N V Ramana, said.

DLF files fresh plea in SC against CCI order; bids for time in paying Rs 630 crore penalty

DLF has filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court seeking exemption from paying the balance amount of Rs 580 crore from the Rs 630 crore penalty sought by competition watchdog CCI. 

The apex court had directed the real estate major to pay the entire penalty by 25th November. The company had furnished a sum of Rs 50 crore in September but has now sought an exemption for the balance amount. In the second part of the petition they said in case of exemption they would be prepared to offer land worth Rs 580 crore as security for the balance amount of the CCI penalty. 

As part of the petition DLF raised a number of concerns – it cites the Sebi order which has restrained them from buying and selling of securities. In the petition DLF argues that it has got severe financial hardships and so is unable to meet its financial requirements. Also that in the light of the Sebi order it will be unable proceed with the shareholder resolution of raising Rs 5000 crore via non-convertible debentures. 

It said that the Sebi order has hurt business interests and reputation and has affected the sentiments of financiers as well as.

Supreme court tells DLF to pay Rs 630 cr fine

Turns down firm's plea for stay on CCI order; final order pending

The Supreme Court Bench, presided over by Ranjana Desai, asked the company to deposit Rs 50 crore within three weeks and the rest within three months. The court also asked the company to file an affidavit undertaking to pay interest at the nine per cent rate, as ordered by Compat, or the amount determined by the Supreme Court, ultimately. The interim order was passed on three appeals moved by DLF. These appeals were admitted and the final decision will be taken after hearing all sides.

Analysts see the court order encouraging more buyers to stand up against real estate developers in a market where delays in delivery, along with loopholes in buyer-developer agreements, are rampant.

CCI’s counsel Amit Sibal objected to a stay on the CCI order, arguing that a message needed to be sent that all builders abusing their dominant position will be visited with deterrent orders. If DLF was shown any leniency, 117 other real estate companies in the country would also violate agreements with disadvantaged consumers in the same manner, he said.

On the Supreme Court order, Sanjay Sharma, managing director of Qubrex, a real estate consultancy firm, said: “Buyers are active like never before. With such a strong online medium, an increasing number of buyers is joining hands to protest against developers’ tyranny, especially when the developer has no explanations for delayed deliveries.”

Given a rise in consumer agitation, many developers are making changes to their agreements with buyers. They now arm themselves by stipulating longer delivery deadlines than earlier, a step that they expect will minimise their legal liabilities. Now, instead of two or three years, the developers promise delivery of flats in five years in the case of skyscraper residential buildings. The purchase agreements also include revised penalty norms against failure to deliver on time, aimed mainly at instilling confidence among buyers.

DLF, Unitech, Ansal, other realty players under CCI lens for cartelisation

Widening its probe into suspected anti-consumer practices in the real estate sector, fair trade watchdog CCI has issued notices to at least 20 developers and industry body Credai for alleged cartelisation and unfair practices.

Among other charges, these developers are being probed for inserting one-sided clauses in favour of the companies and against the interest of consumers in buyer agreements for sale of flats, apartments and other residential property.

A senior Competition Commission of India official said certain details have also been sought from these real estate players, while they would also be given an opportunity to present their case before the regulator. 

Realty players under CCI scanner for cartel, unfair practices

Among others, information has been sought in the present case from Unitech, Omaxe, Puravankara, Parsvnath, Supertech, BPTP, Oberoi Realty, Amrapali, Ansal Properties & Infra, Prestige Estates, Tata Housing, Gaursons, K Raheja, Avalon, Purohit Construction, Aparna Construction and Amit Enterprises, as also from the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (Credai).

Sources said that notices were issued following a detailed investigation report by the CCI's Director General that flagged off various issues in the realty sector. The Director General had probed certain alleged common practices by builders and developers who are members of Credai.

Some of the companies have already submitted their written responses to CCI on this matter. 

CCI’s realty test

In a consumer-friendly move, COMPAT upholds CCI’s DLF decision, but what about others?

by Dhanendra Kumar & Avirup Bose

CCI and COMPAT’s decision against DLF is in consonance of the age-old maxim of contra proferentem (against the offeror), where onerous and unfair terms of standard-form contracts are typically interpreted against the interests of the dominant contracting party, i.e. DLF. COMPAT has further held that dominant players like DLF have a special responsibility towards the industry to be ‘within four corners of law’, to set the trend for smaller real estate companies to follow.

Belaire fine: DLF deposits Rs 525 crore with SC

22 May 2015, 4:20 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Realty major DLF has deposited Rs 525 crore with the Supreme Court and will pay the balance by early July to comply with the apex court's direction to deposit Rs 630 crore fine slapped by fair trade regulator CCI.

"The company has deposited Rs 525 crore with Hon'ble Supreme Court against a total penalty of Rs 630 crore. Balance amount shall be deposited by early July," DLF said in an analyst presentation.

In August 2011, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by a Belaire Owners' Association in Gurgaon.

The Supreme Court had said in August last year that the total amount should be deposited within 3 months with its Registry, pending the outcome of the appeal filed by DLF against the May 19 order of the Competition Appellate Tribunal's (COMPAT) upholding the penalty imposed by CCI.

But later in November 2014, the apex court allowed DLF to deposit the remaining Rs 480 crore, out of the Rs 630 crore penalty, in monthly instalments.

Meanwhile, DLF also informed that CCI has passed one more decision in the matter of its housing project 'New Town Heights' in Gurgaon.

"Since, it pertains to same issue and period, no additional penalty has been imposed. The company, based on legal opinion, shall appeal in due course," the presentation said.

Earlier this month, the CCI, in a fresh order against DLF, found the realty giant guilty of indulging in "unfair and abusive" business practices in sale of apartments in a Gurgaon housing project.

CCI has asked DLF Gurgaon Home Developers Pvt Ltd and its group companies to "cease and desist" from such unfair trade practices, but did not impose any fresh monetary penalty as Rs 630 crore fine has already been slapped on DLF for similar violation during the same period in a separate case.

The direction followed complaints filed with CCI against DLF Gurgaon Home Developers, wherein it was alleged that the company had lured home buyers to book apartments at "very attractive" rates in DLF New Town Heights project under a pre-launch scheme.
DLF proposes provision to sue regulators; CCI rejects idea

NEW DELHI: Locked in face-offs with two different regulatory agencies CCI and Sebi, realty major DLF's Chairman K P Singh today suggested a provision in laws to sue regulators if their decisions get overturned at later stages.

CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla immediately rejected the idea, which was made to him by Singh during an interactive session at an event organised by industry chamber Assocham.

Reacting to Singh's suggestion, Chawla said it will not acceptable anywhere to have a provision whereby private players can sue the regulators.

The CCI had imposed penalty on DLF after finding it guilty of unfair business practices in the realty sector.

During the Assocham event, Singh also said there should be checks and balances in place before regulators' pass orders.

Singh, who is also a former Assocham president, said there should be a provision in the law to hold those regulators accountable who pass judgements on flimsy grounds and do immense damage to the reputation of the companies, and investors.

These regulators pass judgements and then go while companies suffer loss of reputation, he said, while adding that by the time the aggrieved companies get justice, damage is already done to their reputation.

In response, Chawla said he does not think that the idea of suing regulators is going to be accepted in India or anywhere else.

"It does not happen in the UK, Japan, the US. Regulators are basically surrogate states. Of course state can make a mistake... but that has to be corrected within the framework of the Constitution.

"... that private corporates or players can sue the state and sue the regulators on behalf of the state., I think that will not be acceptable," he said.

He said regulators have to ensure balance, both in terms of developing the sector as well as on the oversight side.

Setback for DLF: Delhi HC allows CCI to investigate "New Town Heights" Project
The CCI was probing alleged anti-competitive practices of DLF in its New Town Heights project in Gurgaon...

In a major setback to DLF , the Delhi High Court on Friday gives green signal to Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate and pass final orders against the realty major. 

The CCI was probing alleged anti-competitive practices of DLF in its "New Town Heights" project in Gurgaon. DLF had moved Delhi HC seeking stay on CCI investigations into allegations of abuse of dominant position. The company argued the project was commissioned prior to enforcement of Competition Act in 2009. 

Delhi HC pulls up DLF and observes that the plea was a delaying tactic to pay fine of Rs 630 crore, slapped by CCI, in Belair Project in Gurgaon.

CCI moves SC to stay COMPAT order on DLF

The one area where COMPAT order was in favour of DLF was with respect to the retrospective application of Section 4. 

Now Section 4 importantly provides for invocation of the Competition Act in cases of discriminatory practises and COMPAT importantly had held that this Act was enforced in 2009 and the buyers’ agreements were entered back in 2006-07 and hence Section 4 was not enforced at the time of signing of those buyers agreements. The COMPAT held that Section 4 cannot be applied retrospectively. It further said that the Acts which were conducted prior to the enforcement of the relevant sections and the relevant Act are infact valid and cannot be called into question. 

Compat has also observed in its order that the buyers appear to have come in for the agreement voluntarily without a sense of coercion. Most importantly, the COMPAT has also observed in its order that under Section 4, the Competition Commission does not have the necessary right to direct for modification of the buyers agreement. 

Hence, the CCI has moved the Supreme Court appealing against these observations, appealing for recall of these observations as a part of the COMPAT order and to that extent the SC has issued a notice to DLF. So clearly CCI turning on the heat, one question is already pending with respect to the culpability of DLF in terms of abusing its dominant position and now fresh legal challenge being mounted by the CCI in the Supreme Court. 

Compat rejects DLF plea; upholds Rs 630-cr CCI fine

Real estate company DLF on Monday announced that it will move Supreme Court against the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) ruling which has upheld the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing Rs 630 crore penalty on the firm for unfair business practices.

Compat has given the realty company 60 days for the same, DLF said in a statement.

“The Compat has pronounced the order today upholding certain findings of the earlier orders of CCI. The company is yet to examine the detailed order, therefore, the company at this stage will not be in a position to make any further comments,” DLF said.

The company said that it has successfully delivered Park Place, Belaire and Magnolia projects which were the subject matter of the above appeals.

“The company has respected in true letter and spirit the customer commitments made by it. In testament thereof, out of over 2,600 total number of apartments, over 2,200 have been handed over, and over 1,800 number of families are already residing therein,” the statement added.

CCI orders fresh probe against DLF; fears abuse in office business

The case pertains to the DLF's commercial office space in 'Corporate Greens project at Sector 74A' in Gurgaon and the CCI has asked its Director General (DG) to initiate an investigation against DLF UniversalLimited. The latest probe would be carried out against DLF Universal, upon a complaint that alleged the realty company of imposing certain anti-competitive clauses in the 'Commercial Office Space Buyers Agreements'.

After looking into the complaint, CCI said in a 11-page order that it is "of the prima facie opinion that despite the presence of other developer in commercial real estate space in Gurgaon such as, Emmar MGF Land Ltd,Unitech, Spaze Towers Pvt Ltd, Vatika Ltd, Bestech Indian Pvt Ltd, JMD Ltd, DLF Group appears to be dominant in the relevant market".

"Having examined the clauses of the agreement, it appears that some of them are unilateral, one sided and loaded in favour of the opposite party (DLF Universal)," CCI said in an order dated June 23.

The fair trade regulator added that "the conduct of DLF Group, emanating from its dominant position in the relevant market, prima facie, amounts to imposition of unfair terms and conditions on the commercial office buyers which is anti-competitive...".

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