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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) has stayed an order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposing a penalty of Rs. 87 crore on Hyundai.
However, the NCLAT has directed Hyundai to deposit nine crore rupees with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs within a week. In case the appeal is allowed, the amount will be refunded with interest.
Two former dealers of Hyundai vehicles in India – FX Enterprise Solutions and St. Antony’s Cars – had filed complaints before the CCI alleging anti-competitive behaviour on the part of the vehicle manufacturer. The Commission had passed orders in 2014, stating that a prima facie case was made out. Therefore, it had directed the Director General to investigate the allegations.
Last month, CCI had found Hyundai guilty of tie-in arrangements and resale price maintenance in violation of Sections 3(4)(a) and (e) of the Competition Act. While doing so, CCI differed with the findings of the DG. This fact formed the basis of Hyundai’s appeal before the NCLAT.
Hyundai claims that the CCI had not issued notice to them before differing with the DG’s report on the aspect of relevant market. This, the car manufacturer argued, was essential, as held by the now-defunct Competition Appellate Tribunal in a 2016 judgment.
Chandhiok & Associates represented Hyundai through a team led by Partner Karan Singh Chandhiok along with Managing Associates Vikram Sobti and Kalyani Singh, and Associates Mehul Parti and Aroon Menon.
The NCLAT Bench, headed by Chairperson Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya, issued notice to the CCI and other respondents.
The matter will next be heard on August 2.
Read the order: