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Future Retail to defend petition filed by Amazon in Supreme Court

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Sushree Mohanty

Future Retail Ltd (FRL) said Amazon has moved to the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court verdict that dismissed the status quo on Future Group’s proposed Rs 24,713 crore-deal with Reliance Industries.

It additionally said that it will seek legal consultants and advocates for defending the matter.  

Future Retail’s scrip on BSE was exchanging at 1.83% higher rate at an amount of ₹77.85 on during late exchange. 

On 8 February 2021, the Delhi High Court delivered a verdict and passed a stay order on status quo to Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and its associates in the matter concerning the deal between them and Reliance. 

The court decided that the authorities cannot be barred from acting as per law.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh allowed the appeal filed by Future Retail contesting the February 2, 2021 verdict of the single judge bench.

The judges additionally declined Amazon’s plea to maintain the order in suppression for seven days so it can take appropriate legal measures. 

The court while passing the stay order on February 2, 2021, had notified that legal authorities like National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) cannot be disallowed or barred to continue or carry out their duties as per law. 

The court likewise gave notice to Amazon and directed it to submit its response on FRL’s plea by February 26, 2021, when it will begin its hearing on the matter.

The reports from the first week of February suggested that Amazon has moved the Supreme Court in an attempt to impede the Future-Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) deal. 

Amazon in its defence contended that the division bench of the Delhi High Court did not have the authority to take cognizance of the appeal filed by Future Retail Ltd (FRL’s) against the online business operator.

In furtherance of its contentions, Amazon submitted that the bench is not conferred with the power to pass any order that acted against the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s 25th October emergency mediation plea that restricted Future Group from making any developments regarding resource deal with RIL.

In its previous decision, the Delhi High Court permitted Future Group to keep pursuing its deal with RIL, expressing that the US-based business mogul cannot meddle in the arrangement. 

Subsequently, Amazon had moved to the Delhi High Court requesting for implementation of the interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that had limited FRL from proceeding with the business deal with Reliance.

Single Judge Justice Midha delivered a status quo verdict directing FRL and its associates to abide by the judgement until further deliberation.

Amazon and Future have been entwined in a legal battle after Amazon approached SIAC, contending that the FRL had abused their agreement by signing a business deal with Reliance Company.

Amazon had dealt into Future Coupons in August 2019, with an alternative of buying the flagship of FRL after a time of 3 to 10 years. 

In August 2020 Future Group signed a business deal worth of Rs 24,713-crore with Mukesh Ambani’s’ Reliance Industries Ltd. to sell its retail, co-ordinations and warehousing units

Read also: Amazon moves to Supreme Court in battle over Future Group-Reliance deal