CCI orders probe against Jaiprakash Associates in majority orders

The CCI ordered the probe into two separate cases involving real estate projects in the NCR for alleged abuse of dominant market position

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a probe against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd through majority orders in two separate cases involving real estate projects in the National Capital Region for alleged abuse of dominant market position and imposition of “unfair” conditions on buyers.

In both the cases, two members of the CCI have given their dissent notes while opining that the company did not held a dominant position in the relevant market and “no case is made out” against it.

In the first case, four members of CCI have said in their majority order that prima facie it appeared that certain clauses in the application form for booking of apartment at Crescent Court project of Jaypee Greens Ltd in Greater Noida were “unfair, onerous, one-sided and tilted favourably towards the opposite party (the company) and call for a detailed investigation.”

“Accordingly, the Commission holds that prima facie the opposite party appears to have contravened the provisions of Section 4 of the Act,” the four-member order said, while directing the director general to conduct an investigation and complete it within 60 days. This section relates to abuse of dominant market position.

However, two other members of CCI have given a dissent order for this case, while referring to an earlier order by the regulator wherein it had closed the matters against Jaiprakash Associates by holding the company “to be not dominant in the relevant market”.

In the second case, concerning booking of an apartment in KUBE project of Jaypee Greens in Noida, the majority order signed by CCI chairman D.K. Sikri and four other members have ordered a probe by the DG—the investigating arm of the regulator—for alleged abuse of dominant market position and imposition of “unfair” conditions.

In this case also, two CCI members have given a dissent order while observing that the company was declared “to be not dominant in the relevant market” in an earlier case.

The CCI had earlier probed Jaiprakash Associates in other matters related to unfair trade practices in the real estate market, after which two members had ordered Rs666 crore fine on JP Associates, but was overruled by the chairman and other members of the regulatory body.

After looking into the latest complaints, the majority members said they are of a “prima facie opinion” that Jaiprakash Associates is in the dominant position. Accordingly, the CCI has asked the DG to investigate the matter.

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