Competition Commission of India pulls up DLF for allotment cancellation

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has pulled up real estate major DLF Ltd in a recent order for cancelling the allotment of an apartment of a member of DLF’s Park Place RWA, stating that it was in “direct contravention” of its stay order of September 2010.

The order was passed by the commission to prevent the opposite party from abusing its dominant position to the detriment of allottees during pendency of the proceedings. The CCI also severely admonished the builder for discriminatory behaviour towards members of the owners’ association and other allottees/owners.

The cancellation letter for one Vipin Mahajan was issued on January 28 last year when the interim order was in force. According to Mahajan, despite the directions being in force to date, the opposite party issued a letter in January last year, cancelling the booking of his apartment and forfeited a sum of Rs 23,06,778 out of the total amount of Rs 44,89,503.

While the CCI accepted this restoration of status quo and therefore felt that no further direction needs to be passed as far as restitution of Mahajan’s apartment was concerned which had been a great relief for the allottee concerned, the CCI as prescribed by the Competition Act 2002 “is obliged to impose penalty because of the deliberate non-compliance”. This, the order stated, was a violation of Section 42 of the Act.

Also, Section 48 of the Act makes it a liability of every person for penalty, who at the time of contravention was in charge of or was responsible to the company for conducting its business. DLF will now have to disclose the name of the errant persons who were responsible for the misconduct and also give a showcause notice as to why the penalty should not be imposed. The case on the same is up for hearing on May 17.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of DLF Ltd clarified that the company had “restored the ownership of the apartment which was %cancelled due to non-payment of dues by the %allottee”.

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