Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Future-Retail Vs. Amazon: Delhi High Court stays status quo order in FRL appeal case

3 min read
Future Retail law insider in

Future Retail law insider in

Sreya Kanugula

The application of the status quo order given by a single judge bench was stayed by the High Court of Delhi on the Future Group-Reliance deal.

The Court also dismissed the request made by Amazon to defer the order given today by the week.

It was also noted by the Court that an agreement for arbitration with Amazon did not include Future Retail Ltd as a party and prima facie gave the opinion that the doctrine of “group of companies” wouldn’t be allowed to be invoked in this particular case.

It said so because it stated that the three agreements in question, that is, Future Retail Shareholding Agreement (SHA), Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) SHA and FCPL Share Subscription Agreement were very divergent.

An added observation was that the sought out order from the bench of the Single Judge wasn’t required and it stated that there would be no restraint on statutory bodies such as SEBI, CCI to be “proceeding in accordance with law.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel along with Justice Jyoti Singh gave this stay order.

The appeal against the order of status quo, given by Justice JR Midha, was made by Future Retail (FRL) and they moved the court just last week.

Today, the notice was issued by the bench on the appeal case and the statement of how the Single judge must pass their order without any undue influence from the present order was made by the Court.

The Amazon plea on implementation of the Emergency Award order being sought was being dealt with by the single-judge as per Section 17(2) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act.

The Future Group were subdued by the given emergency award to stop them from moving ahead with their Reliance Retail deal.

The broad argument was made that on the lack of any arbitration agreement in place between the companies of FRL and Amazon as well as Justice Mukta Gupta’s paradoxical findings, the enforcement of the Emergency Award couldn’t take place, was made in the appeal by FRL.

On Justice Gupta’s interim order’s virtue with regards to the suit of FRL, the given award will be superseded were the claims made by the registered suit. And that the coordinate judicial bench’s findings should be followed by Justice Midha was also tacked on.

The reserved order that was yet to be given couldn’t be dismissed this easily since no case was made against it, was what the tech-giant company of Amazon maintained.

The contention was also made that since there wasn’t any denouncement of the Emergency Award in front of Justice Mukta Gupta’s bench, it couldn’t be argued that the directions given had just vapourised.

Instead, it could be argued that there was the preservation of the Emergency Award, was what was stated.

Maintaining the registered appeal in front of the bench was another of Amazon’s contestations.

Previously, after reserving their order short-term to make any blockades to the companies and officials of the Future Group from any reliance on the bestowed statutory authority appeals in accordance to the Reliance deal, Future Retail Limited was given directions to maintain their status quo corresponding to the interim plea filed by Amazon by Justice Midha.

It was also stated that the status quo shall be maintained by all the authorities on every matter that violated the passed Emergency Award in this Amazon vs. Future ordeal and to file a report regarding the status of the same within a matter of 10 days.

Further directions were given to list every step and action taken by them to FRL right after the Emergency Award was passed, that is, on the 25th of October in 2020 with regards to the Reliance deal.

A prima facie finding was added by the Court on how the proceedings against Future was done so correctly by the Emergency Arbitrator and that there was no nullification through the Emergency Award, along with there being definite enforceability of it as per the Arbitration Act’s Section 17(2).

Amazon was represented by Sr. Adv.’s Gopal Subramaniam, Rajiv Nayar along with Amit Sibal who were all briefed by P&A Law Offices and AZB & Partners.

FRL was represented by Sr. Adv.’s Harish Salve along with Darius Khambata.