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CCI dismisses unfair biz practices complaint against Eastern Railways

New Delhi: Fair trade regulator CCI has dismissed a complaint alleging unfair business practices against the Eastern Railways.

The order came on a complaint filed by Abhiraj Associates Pvt Ltd which is engaged in the business of export of stone aggregates and boulders through rakes allotted by the Eastern Railways.

The complainant alleged that the Eastern Railways stopped allotting rakes to it from July 2019 onwards, CCI noted in an order dated February 28.

Abhiraj Associates said the decision was taken by Indian Railway Board as per the request of the Bangladesh Railway Board.

It further said Bangladesh Railway Board issued an order for boulders in September 2019, for which rakes were allotted to JHM International, which according to the complainant, is a Bangladesh-registered export company.

The complainant said "such an act on part of Bangladesh Railway Board shows its malafide and biased decision and the same is being implemented by OP/ Eastern Railways."

Abhiraj Associates informed the commission that aggrieved by the decision of the Indian Railway Board, it filed a case before the Calcutta High Court against Indian Railways and JHM International Ltd. However, the same was withdrawn.

Considering the submissions of the Eastern Railways, CCI noted that it does not have any discretion in rakes allotment as acceptance of rakes by Bangladesh Railways is governed by bilateral agreement between the governments of the two countries and in order to give equal opportunity to all stakeholders, Eastern Railways follows a rotational policy for loading of stone boulders to Bangladesh subject to the rake availability.

"The Commission is of the view that no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against OP (Eastern Railways)", the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said.

CCI further noted that the complainant approached CCI through e-mails and applications for requesting more time to file additional information in relation to the alleged violation of the Competition Act by the Eastern Railways.

"The Informant (Abhiraj Associates) is taking liberty with the process for filing of documents ...by filing random e-mails, but is also indulging in forum shopping by approaching the High Court and thereafter the Commission without even placing the orders passed by the High Court on record," CCI said.

It further noted that the complainant has made a "scandalous allegation" against the Commission by stating that " the OP (Eastern Railways) is being a favoured party in the eyes of the Commission ", it added.

CCI warned the complainant "to refrain from making such reckless allegations which have no basis in fact or in law."

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