COMPAT cancels Competition Commission’s Rs.1,773 crore fine on Coal India

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New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) on Tuesday set aside the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposing a Rs.1,773 crore fine on Coal India Ltd (CIL), the legal advisors to the state miner said in a statement here.

“COMPAT has set aside the order of the CCI imposing a fine on CIL, as well as two related orders, and has remitted the matters back to the CCI for fresh consideration,” the Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas law firm said in a release.

“The COMPAT order states that CCI should endeavour to complete its proceedings as soon as possible, but no later than within two months from the date of the receipt of order of the COMPAT,” it said.

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“The CCI’s orders have been set aside as the CCI did not follow the principles of natural justice while hearing the parties (the members who signed each of the three orders had not all heard the oral arguments in the three respective cases),” it added.

On complaints filed by Maharashtra State Power Generating Co. and Gujarat State Electricity Corp., CCI had fined CIL Rs.1,773 crore for abusing its dominant position as a supplier of coal by imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions in its fuel supply agreements with various customers.

The CCI then passed subsequent orders in cases filed by others, which did not impose a further penalty but required CIL to cease and desist from its unfair conduct and modify the terms of its agreements. These have all been set aside by COMPAT, Coal India’s legal advisors in the case said.

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