The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) today dismissed cement manufacturers’ plea, challenging the order of fair trade regulator CCI to impose a penalty of Rs 6,700 crore for alleged cartelisation.
A two-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya dismissed a batch of petitions by over 11 cement-makers. The appeals are dismissed, said the NCLAT, which now is an appellate authority over the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
In August 2016, CCI had slapped approximately Rs 6,700 crore penalty on 11 cement firms including UltraTech, ACC, Ambuja, Ramco and JK Cement as well as the industry body Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) for indulging in cartelisation.
This was challenged by the cement makers before the Competition Appellate Tribunal, which had on November 22 stayed CCI’s direction to pay 10 per cent of the penalty within a month of the order.
In the August 2016 order, apart from penalising the CMA, CCI had directed all the firms to “cease and desist” from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market.
CCI had imposed the highest penalty of Rs 1,175.49 crore on Aditya Birla group firm UltraTech.