SC stays CCI penalty of Rs 6300 crore on cement firms
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed penalties worth Rs 6,300 crore imposed on cement companies under an order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over alleged cartelization and asked them to deposit only 10% of the amount.
In August 2016, the CCI had slapped approximately Rs 6,300 crore in penalties on 11 cement companies, including UltraTech Cement Ltd, ACC Ltd, Ambuja Cement Ltd, Ramco Cements Ltd and JK Cement Ltd, as well as industry body Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA), for indulging in cartelization.
This was challenged by the cement makers before the Competition Appellate Tribunal, the previous appellate body, which asked the CCI to issue a fresh order.
In its August 2016 order, apart from penalizing the CMA, the 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.
After this, the CCI’s order for penalty was challenged by the cement manufacturers in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which upheld the CCI’s order on 25 July.
The CCI had imposed the highest penalty of Rs 1,175.49 crore on Aditya Birla group firm UltraTech.