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Raghubir Mertia v. Aura Real Estate Private Limited - (Competition Appellate Tribunal) (26 Apr 2016)

Compat: Flat buyers need not apply

MRTP/ Competition Laws

The Competition Appellate Tribunal affirmed what the Competition Commission has been trying to tell residential flat buyers all along - builders cannot be held in contravention of competition laws for including lopsided contractual terms in sale-purchase agreements.

The Tribunal was unequivocal in its ruling: due to the construction boom in preceding years the real estate sector invited several builders resulting in none of them being in a ‘dominant position’, being unable to effect unfair contract terms. With the appellants not providing evidence to the contrary, CCI was correct in concluding that Aura Real Estate was not dominant in the relevant market and, as such, investigation could not be ordered against it.

The CCI has received a spate of complaints, most of which it has dismissed, from individual property buyers who have been stung by unequal contractual reliefs for delayed delivery of possession by real estate companies. Inadequate compensation and eluding responsibility for timely completion of construction have topped the list of grievances for which buyers claim to have been adversely affected by a ‘dominant’ builder.


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