This Article is From Jan 30, 2013

Tribunal adjourns hearing on cement companies' plea against CCI

Tribunal adjourns hearing on cement companies' plea against CCI
New Delhi:

The Competition Appellate Tribunal today adjourned hearing on the plea of 11 cement companies seeking stay on Rs 6,307 crore penalty imposed by fair trade regulator CCI on the grounds of cartelisation.

A three member COMPAT bench - headed by its Chairman Justice V S Sirpurkar - would now hear the matter from February 18 to 20.

COMPAT is hearing the amended petitions of the companies after CCI served them separate copies of its order providing them with complete details on production, pricing, dispatches and sales.

On October 11, COMPAT had directed CCI to give fresh copies of its order levying penalties on 11 cement companies for cartelisation. In its earlier order CCI had not disclosed various facts about matters such as production, dispatches and pricing.

The companies, which include UltraTech and ACC, were also asked to file their amended petitions before the tribunal after getting the fresh order.

On June 21, CCI had slapped Rs 6,307 crore penalty on 11 cement makers. The industry body CMA was also fined Rs 73 lakh.

The cement companies charged with cartelisation include Lafarge India, India Cement, JP Associates, Binani Cement, Ambuja Cement, Madras Cement and J K Cement.

"The act and conduct of the cement companies establish that they are a cartel. The Commission holds that the cement companies acting together have limited, controlled and also attempted to control the production and price in the market in India," CCI had said in its 258-page order.

CCI had found "cement manufacturers in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 which deals with anti-competitive agreements including cartels".

The order was passed following probe by its Director General (Investigation) on a complaint filed by Builders Association, which has hailed the order saying "it was long-pending and the penalty could have been higher".