10 more cases against DLF pending with CCI

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | Timsy Jaipuria | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 25 2011, 07:57am hrs
At least 10 anti-trust complaints against Indias largest real estate company DLF are pending with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), according to three senior officials with the competition regulator. The latest complaint was filed a couple of days before CCIs R630-crore fine on the company last week, which followed a petition from those who had purchased residences at DLFs The Belair complex in Gurgaon. The latest complaint too, interestingly, pertains to The Belair.

The complaint, filed by two London-based NRIs, allege that due to a delay in payment of instalments, DLF cancelled their allotments in The Belaire and forfeited the booking amount of around R20 lakh each.

When contacted DLFs group executive director Rajeev Talwar declined to comment on the development.

The NRIs say DLF had misused its dominant position by cancelling allotments arbitrarily. There is a competition angle in this case, a CCI official told FE on condition of anonymity. He, however, said that the commission is yet to take a prima facie view on the case and a decision to that effect would be taken soon.

Another CCI official told FE that the Commission is soon to take up 10 more similar cases pending against DLF.

According to this official, these matters pertain to various issues covered under Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002, which deals with abuse of dominant market position.

Official sources also said the Commission could also initiate a probe against other real estate developers to unearth similar anti-competitive practices. DLF does not work in isolation in a market like this. It would suggest that other realtors could also be following similar practices, the source quoted earlier said. According to him, since passing the DLF verdict, the Commission has received up to 40 consumer complaints against real estate companies across the country.