The orders were passed by Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan on two petitions, one filed by the Coimbatore Corporation Contractors’ Welfare Association about the steel cartelisation and the other by the Class I Contractor Welfare Association-Mangadu against cement manufacturers. The directions were based on CBI’s submission that it has forwarded the complaint about steel industries to the CCI since there were allegations of anti-competitive practices by cement players and manipulation of prices to the detriment of the government and the public and that of the cement cartelisation to the State DGP owing to lack of jurisdiction on the issue.
Based on this and finding that the said cases have already been referred to the CCI and DGP, the court directed the CCI and DGP to proceed with the respective cases in accordance with law and complete the same within the next four months.
The Coimbatore Corporation Contractors Welfare Association had submitted that the manufacturers were controlling steel supply, creating artificial scarcities, leading to a jump in its price. The petition by the Class I Contractor Welfare Association-Mangadu had made similar allegations of cartelisation with respect to major cement players, wherein artificial scarcities in supply is created to increase the price.
Further, pointing out that the non-availability of steel and cement has put contractors and the public at the receiving end, the petitioners sought a CBI inquiry into both instances.