SC asks its registry to keep fine paid by DLF in PSU bank

Supreme Court Monday asked its registry to invest in a nationalised bank the money deposited with it by real estate major DLF as a fine which was imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

New Delhi: Supreme Court Monday asked its registry to invest in a nationalised bank the money deposited with it by real estate major DLF as a fine which was imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

DLF, which had earlier deposited 150 crore out of total fine of Rs 630 crore, today gave another Rs 75 crore to the apex court registry. The real estate firm now has to pay the remaining amount of Rs 405 crore.

A bench of justices S J Mukhopadhaya and N V Ramana would now hear the final arguments in the case on February 11.

The bench also directed DLF to amend the flat buyers' agreements.

"We will first hear the question of jurisdiction. Whether Competition Commission had the jurisdiction or a consumer forum," the bench had said.

CCI had slapped a fine of Rs 630 crore on the real estate major for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices.

DLF had moved the apex court expressing difficulty in meeting the November 26 last year's deadline to deposit entire Rs 630 crore, as a pre-condition to entertain its appeal.

It had sought six months' time to comply with the direction but the bench had asked it to deposit Rs 50 crore within three weeks and the rest Rs 580 crore in the next three months, that was before November 27.

The real estate firm has sought more time for depositing rest of the amount claiming that it was in serious financial difficulty, which was aggravated by SEBI's decision to ban the company and six of its senior officials from accessing the capital markets for three years for an alleged non-disclosure in the 2007 IPO filing.

The apex court had admitted DLF's appeal in which Haryana government, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) are parties along with the residents' association, on whose plea CCI had imposed the penalty on the company.

CCI had in 2011 found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by Belaire Owners' Association in Gurgaon. It was in May 2010 that the buyer's association had complained against DLF.

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