Madras High Court Directed Hyundai to Participate in Investigation Till Final Finding in the Appeal.

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The direction by the Division Bench of Madras High Court to Korean automobile giant Hyundai to participate in the investigation of CCI, upheld the decision of single bench. Complaint was filed before the single bench presided by Justice V.Ramasubramaniam last month stating the violation trade standards and rules that automobile or car makers are bound to comply in the after services including services in the market and spare parts.

The complaint was filed by Hyundai and BMW challenging the scope and power of Competition Commission of India, an anti trust regulator authority.

The authority of Director General of CCI in expanding the investigation to the companies that are not referred was challenged by Hyundai and BMW stating that DG overlooked the matter beyond its authority.

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The violation of trade norms in the after services against Honda, Volkswagen and Fiat was filed in the year 2011 before the CCI. Later CCI extended its investigations to other car manufacturers who were not included in the compliant. Against this Suo motto investigation by the DG of CCI was challenged before the single bench but the orders was passed against Hyundai and BMW. Earlier in 2013 Nissan was also a party in the petition but later withdrew the complaint as they would approach the Appellate Authority.

In August 2014 CCI had given penalty of Rs 2,554 crore for 14 major car manufactures who failed to extend its service in providing spare parts. CCI supported its investigation power stating that car makers have violated the norms and agreements with local equipment suppliers and authorized dealers. CCI stated that its extended investigation to the non referred car makers in the whole industry would ultimately benefit the customer.

Hyundai and BMW moved appeal against the single bench order before the Division bench presided by Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M VenuGopal. The Division Bench dismissed the petition filed by the companies though Senior Advocate Mr Muthukumara Swamy for Hyundai argued to stay the Single Bench’s order. The division bench also directed Hyundai to participate in the investigation and stated “ any decision will be subject to final outcome of pending appeal”.

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by Dhanya R.