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CAM, Gopal Subramanium win Compat stay of record Rs 6,300 cr cement penalty because CCI chairman wasn’t present for hearings

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and senior counsel Gopal Subramanium represented Lafarge arguing on behalf of 10 other cement companies before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) and succeeding in getting the Rs 6,300 crore ($1.15bn) Competition Commission of India (CCI) penalty overturned.

After having stayed the CCI fine in 2013 while ordering the cement companies accused of cartellisation to pay 10 per cent of the total fine as a deposit pending the outcome of the appeal, the Compat held today that the CCI order did not follow rules of natural justice and that the Rs 630 crore should be returned to the 11 cement companies.

The Compat held that the CCI did not follow rules of natural justice because its chairman, Ashok Chawla, had not been present for the three days of CCI hearings yet had signed the CCI order.

The Compat has ordered the CCI to pass fresh orders within three months from today but the original director general report that found prima facie cartellisation was not addressed by the appellate body.

Cyril Amarchand Mumbai competition partner Nisha Kaur Uberoi led the Lafarge team, having been designated as lead counsel for the other 10 appellants. The Lafarge team also included Bharat Budholia, Arunima Chandra and Kaustav Kundu.

Clarification: Cyril Amarchand also acted fro the Ambujas on this after the Compat decided it didn't want repetition of arguments and the cement companies nominated Cyril Amarchand and Gopal Subramanium to advance arguments on their behalf.

The CCI was represented by senior counsel Pallav Sisodia and advocate Vaibhav Gaggar.

The original complainant, the Builder’s Association of India was represented by Seth Dua & Associates partner Atul Dua.

Other advisers:

  • Cement Manufacturing Association: Promod B. Agarwala, Prashant Mehra, Anuj P Agarwala
  • Ultra Tech Cement: Sameer Parekh, Utsav Trivedi, Anand Sina
  • India Cement: Aditya Verma
  • Jai Prakash Associates: GR Bhatia, Nidhi Singh, Kanika Chaudhary, Vikram Sobti
  • Associated Cement Companies: Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi competition partner Pallavi Shroff and Harman Singh Sandhu
  • Binani Cement: Bansuri Swaran, Sudesh Paritosh Anil
  • Ambuja Cements: Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas’ Ashwath Rau, Nisha Kaur Uberoi, Kirat Nagra, Anu Tiwari, Vipul Jain, Soumya Hariharan, Anisha Chand, Aditi Singhvi, Aishwarya Gopalakrishnan, Unnati Agrawal, Neelambera Sandeepan, Atreyee Sarkar, Sammith S.
  • The Ramco Cements: T Srinivas Murthy
  • JK Cement: PK Bhalla
  • Century Textile Industries: Pramod B Agarwala

Photo by William Warby / BY CC

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