NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court yesterday refused to impose a blanket stay on proceedings pending in the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against real estate company DLF. The demand had been made by the company through lawyer CA Sundaram citing the multi-crore penalties being imposed on it by the regulator.
In August 2011, CCI had levied a Rs 630 crore penalty on the company 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 per cent of the average turnover of the company. The real estate company has paid this amount in tranches to the top court, pending its appeal against the decision.
The company first paid Rs 150 crore and later moved the top court to allow it to pay the rest in installments, citing financial constraints. This was allowed by a bench headed by current chief justice HL Dattu. The bench had, however, refused to reduce the penalty in the interim.
CCI lawyer Amit Sibal and residents of some of DLF's projects, who had taken the company to the anti-trust regulator, opposed any relief to the company.
DLF lawyer Harish Salve argued that an order by the capital market regulator had landed the company in financial difficulties.
The company has been at the receiving end of two other CCI orders in the past few days. All these issues will be examined at length from February 18.