SC reserves Verdict in Pleas of Future Group Companies

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Munmun Kaur

Published On: January 12, 2022 at 13:26 IST

The Apex Court, who has been hearing pleas including fresh petition from Future Group against the earlier Delhi High Court’s order, has reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas.

Apparently, Delhi High Court had declined stay on an arbitration tribunal decision refusing to interfere with the Emergency Award (EA) of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The Bench, comprising of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli had earlier suggested that single Judge Bench of Delhi High Court be allowed to hear the pleas against final arbitral award of the SIAC.

The Bench observed, “Your (Future group) first SLP which has challenged Justice J R Midha (Delhi HC) order, we had said that no implementation of that order. We never said Delhi High Court to not hear the matter for what has come up subsequently”.

Amongst the pleas, one set challenged the Delhi High Court’s Order from March 18 that restrained Future Retails Ltd. (FRL) from moving ahead with its deal with Reliance Retail along with costs of Rs 20 Lakhs being imposed on the Future Group, meanwhile ordering attachment of their properties. The other set of appeals challenged Delhi High Court’s Order declining to interfere with the SIAC’s EA.

Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for FRL told the Court that the merger deal with RRL to move forward, the Orders from February 02 and March 12 have to be quashed. He further added that if the deal is not allowed to go through, about 30,000 employees will end up losing their jobs.

Chief Justice NV Ramana on January 11, said, “We reserve the order. All the four SLPs (special leave petitions) are over. A lot of homework for us. Anyway, I will not write a lengthy judgment”.

As held by the Bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, an award of an EA of a foreign country is enforceable under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

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