DLF's Fresh Undertaking in Court, to Deposit Fine in Tranches

New Delhi: Real estate major DLF Ltd on Wednesday filed a fresh undertaking in the Supreme Court saying it be allowed to deposit balance Rs 480 crore of total Rs 630 crore fine imposed on it by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in six monthly installments starting January 15.

A bench headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya allowed the contention of the firm and said that it would commence final hearing on DLF's plea against CCI's order from February 11.

The bench also directed DLF to amend the flat buyers' agreements.

"We will first hear the question of jurisdiction. Whether Competition Commission had the jurisdiction or a consumer forum," said the bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana.

CCI had slapped a fine of Rs 630 crore on the real estate major for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices.

DLF had earlier deposited Rs 150 crore of the Rs 630 crore fine with the apex court registry. The court had in its August 27 last year order said the Registry will be at liberty to invest it in any of the nationalised banks.

The realty firm had moved the apex court expressing difficulty in meeting the November 26 last year deadline to deposit 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 was before November 27.

The real estate firm has sought more time for depositing rest of the amount claiming that it was in serious financial difficulty, which was aggravated by the decision by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) 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 apex court had admitted DLF's appeal in which Haryana government, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) are parties along with the residents' association on whose plea CCI had imposed the penalty on the company. CCI had in 2011 found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by Belaire Owners' Association in Gurgaon. It was in May 2010 that the buyer's association had complained against DLF.


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