On solid ground

On solid ground

New Delhi: Close on the heels of CCI imposing 630-crore penalty on real estate major DLF, several home buyers have approached the competition watchdog alleging unfair treatment by builders.

Post the DLF verdict in August, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is learnt to have received about 10 complaints against unfair trade practices and abuse of dominant market position by real estate companies, sources said.

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“Complaints have been pouring in in the past one month. We have received about 10 complaints against real estate developers," an official told PTI.

The CCI, sources said, will soon hold a meeting to consider if the complaints are to be dealt with individually or collectively as a sector on the whole.

According to the Competition Act 2002, people can filed complaints with the CCI under sections 3 and 4, pertaining to abuse of dominant market position and anti-competitive agreements, respectively.

On August 16, the CCI had imposed a hefty penalty of 630 crore on real estate giant DLF Ltd for abusing its dominant position, and issued a ‘cease and desist´ order against imposing unfair conditions on the buyers of its flats.

The penalty was imposed on DLF following an enquiry by the competition watchdog on a complaint filed by the Belaire Owners’ Association in Gurgaon.

The Commission had also observed that the examination of the DLF case has brought forth several areas of concern pertaining to India’s housing sector.

Further, the commission had urged the government to expedite bringing in a code of conduct for the real estate sector “to ensure adoption of transparent and ethical business practices and protect the consumers".

The Commission, which became fully functional in last July 2009, is empowered by an Act of Parliament to penalise the guilty or ban a prevalent malpractice.