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Construction : Web Exclusive | February 2013 | Source : Construction Update

Tribunal to resume hearing on cement cartel case

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) was scheduled to resume its hearing from February 25 over a batch of petitions filed by cement firms, challenging a Rs 6,307-crore penalty imposed on them by fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on grounds of cartelisation.

Justice VS Sirpurkar headed COMPAT bench, began hearing the petitions of the cement companies on a daily basis last week and the hearings are expected to continue on a fast-track basis this week. The petitions relate to appeal against a penalty of Rs 6,307 crore imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 11 cement makers, as also a fine of Rs 73 lakh on the cement industry body CMA.

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 that 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.

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