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DLF-CCI case: COMPAT expresses concern over flat buyers’ woes


NEW DELHI: Expressing concerns over difficulties faced by flat buyers in two DLF projects due to a long-pending anti-competition case, the Competition Appellate Tribunal has said payments made for possession of the apartments would not adversely impact their rights after a final order.

“The dispute between the Residents’ Welfare Associations in respect of the DLF Park Place and in respect of The Belaire Schemes of DLF has been pending since at least more than two and half years.

“It is a common ground that, owing to this dispute, number of persons, who had entered into the agreement of sale with DLF, have not been able to get the possession,” the Tribunal said in an order, while disposing of DLF’s appeal for an interim stay on CCI’s supplementary orders regarding changes in Flat Buyers Agreement.

The Tribunal said that the CCI’s supplementary orders were anyway non-binding at the current juncture and were rather in the nature of suggestions and therefore the question of granting any interim stay against them did not arise.

With regard to the interests of flat buyers, the Tribunal in its order dated February 12 said that it has been told about people not getting possession in spite of payment of 95 per cent of the total consideration.

The DLF counsel further informed the Tribunal that “if the payments as demanded are made, those payments could be without prejudice to the rights of those persons who wanted to take possession after making the payments.”

“We, therefore, clarify that if the proposed owners choose to make the payments as demanded by DLF and get the possession, then those payments would be without prejudice to their rights in the main appeal,” the Tribunal said.

When enquired about DLF making payment demands for giving possession, its counsel told the Tribunal that any non-payment of demands raised to customers would not lead to allotment being cancelled at least till the final results of DLF’s appeal against the main CCI order of August 2011, wherein a penalty of Rs 630 crore has been imposed on the company.

On allegations made by flat owners that DLF was demanding “unreasonable sums” for giving possession, the tribunal said, “It is not for us to go into that aspect in these appeals at this juncture”.

With regard to appeal against CCI’s supplementary orders suggesting changes in flat buyers agreement, the Tribunal said these orders would not be operational, as the regulator itself has said that it would be subject to COMPAT’s final order.

On January 3, 2013, CCI had passed order amending flat buyer’s agreement of DLF’s Belaire. Later, it extended the modifications suggested by it to DLF’s Park Place and Magnolia projects also through two separate orders on January 10.