BMW and Mercedes-Benz operations in India have been granted a three-week reprieve from the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) penalty order.

The Delhi High Court granted protection from the orders, which imposed a fine of INR204.1m (US$3.3m) on BMW and INR230.8m (US$3.8m) on Mercedes, PTI reported.

BMW must challenge the anti-trust regulator before the Madras High Court within three weeks. In September 2013, the court issued a 'blanket order' putting a stay on the investigation in the matter.

The judge said: "As far as the September 2013 order is concerned, it's a blanket order. The dispute is not here, so we give them (BMW) three weeks interim protection. They are directed to go to Madras High Court. Today, the entire case is at Madras High Court, so this court will not interfere in the issue."

In Mercedes' case, the court said: "We will pass the same order given in the BMW India case. You will move the [case to the] Madras High Court."

In August, the CCI accused 14 carmakers, including Mercedes and BMW, of unfair practices in the Indian spare parts and aftersales services markets and imposed a total fine of INR25bn on all 14. The commission had asked the companies to pay their fines within 60 days.

The fine is about 2% of each automaker's average turnover.

Mercedes and BMW both have challenged CCI's allegation of anti-competitive practice of selling spare parts at higher prices, PTI noted.