HC relief to carmakers against CCI move to probe alleged unfair practices

Written by fe Bureau | Chennai | Updated: Aug 20 2014, 09:27am hrs
CarmakerBoth Hyundai and Nissan in separate writ petitions had prayed for the quashing of the CCI order for probe.
In temporary relief to sulking car-makers over the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) move to probe their alleged unfair trade practices, a division bench of Madras High Court has ordered fresh hearing on a legal battle between the watchdog and players like Hyundai and Nissan.

A single bench of Madras high court had in June dismissed writ petitions filed by Hyundai Motor India and Nissan Motor India against the CCI directive for probing the alleged unfair trade practices of carmakers in India.

Both Hyundai and Nissan in separate writ petitions had prayed for the quashing of the CCI order for probe, citing that the same was without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, without authority and against the principles of natural justice. However, the single bench of justice Dhanaplan asked the carmakers to move the Competition Appellate Tribunal against the CCI diktat, if they desire so, adding that it saw no violation of fundamental rights and denial of natural justice, which could be otherwise addressed by the court.

Aggrieved by the dismissal of petition, Nissan Motors India Private (NMIPL), one of the petitioners in the earlier writs, filed an appeal against the single bench judge's order, thereby prompting the division bench to remand back the case for fresh consideration.

The division bench of Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M Sundresh said that on a plain reading of the provisions of Section 53-B of the Competition Act and as also fairly submitted by the carmakers, it was clear that no appeal remedy was available under the said provisions against the proceedings of CCI which are the subject matters in the writ petition. The division bench said that it is therefore ordering for fresh hearing of the mater on merit.