Competition Commission orders probe against HUDA

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission has ordered an investigation against Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for alleged abuse of dominant position with regard to sale of plots.

After finding prima facie evidence of violation of competition norms, the regulator has ordered the probe based on a complaint by Gurgaon Institutional Welfare Association, a registered group of individual allottees and purchasers of institutional plots in the city from HUDA.

According to a CCI order dated October 31, the complainant had alleged that HUDA restricted its right to transfer the title of plot and building constructed over it without the prior permission of the authority.

For the case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) considered the ‘market for development and sale of institutional plots in the state of Haryana’ as the relevant one.

Noting that the Authority “appears to be dominant in the relevant market”, CCI said that the condition of seeking prior permission of the Estate Officer, even for plots where sale consideration is fully paid seems to be apparently unfair.

“Contrary to claims of the Opposite Party (HUDA), that it allows for transfer of rights in the property, the Commission notes that prima facie the material on record suggests that it imposes restriction on transfer of rights in the institutional plots allotted by it,” CCI said.

The regulator directed its investigation arm, the Director General, to carry out a “detailed investigation” in the matter and submit a report within 60 days, after finding that “a prima facie case of abuse of dominant position” has been made out against HUDA.