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CCI fines 14 top car makers Rs 2,554 cr, but where will battery of lawyers inevitably appeal to?

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined 14 car manufacturers Rs 2,554 crore for having “imposed absolute restrictive covenants” with authorised dealers and local original equipment suppliers (OES), and “completely foreclosed the aftermarket for supply of spare parts and other diagnostic tools”, reported Mint [Full order].

Advisers of the companies included Amarchand Mangaldas partner Pallavi Shroff for Maruti Suzuki, AZB & Partners partner Samir Gandhi for Toyota Kirloskar, P&A Associates partner Anand Pathak for General Motors, Rajinder Narain & Co managing partner Ravi Nath for BMW amongst of other senior counsel and lawyers, according to the order.

However, the auto makers that include Tata Motors, Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and others are unlikely to be unduly hurt by the order, argued a column on Mint, in particular since other historical CCI fines have all been challenged in court.

In addition, as reported by Legally India, the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) is currently unable to hear appeals because all its members have retired.

However, CNBC’s The Firm show tweeted @thefirmupdate that the Compat may end up reconstituted by 15 September with Justice Singhvi as chairman, so direct challenges of the order in the high courts might not be successful, despite writs by Maruti and Hyundai before the Delhi and Madras high courts respectively challenging the CCI’s jurisdiction.

Advocate Karan Chandhiok tweeted @karanchandhiok that “the lack of a tribunal, may just play to their advantage. Interesting times ahead!"

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