Delhi HC orders status quo on Future-Reliance deal

2021-02-02 18:01:39

BENGALURU: In a relief to Amazon, the Delhi high court on Tuesday said it is of the “clear view” that the emergency award (EA) by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is enforceable in India.
It has asked Future Group to not proceed with the Rs 24,731-crore deal with Reliance Industries (RIL) till it pronounces a final order. The court said it is “satisfied that immediate orders are necessary to protect the rights of the petitioner (Amazon).”
The EA had stayed the Future-RIL deal in October 2020. Last week, Amazon moved the Delhi High Court to enforce the EA and stop Future from taking any steps to close the deal with RIL.
“All the concerned authorities are directed to maintain status quo with respect to all matters in violation of the order dated October 25, 2020, and shall file the status report with respect to the present status within 10 days of the receipt of this order,” said the order by Justice J R Midha.
During the court proceedings, Amazon had said it was open to hold a discussion to resolve the ongoing dispute, but Future said it wasn’t keen on any such talks. Previously, Future too had approached the HC to stop Amazon from writing to regulators citing the SIAC order, but the court did not grant the injunction and said Amazon was free to write to regulators.
“We have utmost respect for the Indian legal system and appreciate the interim order of the honourable Delhi high court to uphold the enforceability of the EA’s order and maintain status quo,” a spokesperson of Amazon India said.
A Future Group spokesperson said the company is legally advised that the basis of the interim award of the emergency arbitrator has been superseded by the judgement dated December 21, 2020, passed by Justice Mukta Gupta of Delhi high court.
“The company will explore all legal remedies and take appropriate steps to pursue the scheme of arrangement,” the spokesperson added.
TOI had reported last week that Future Retail had filed an application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking approval for its deal with RIL.
Market regulator Sebi has given conditional nod to the deal, and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has cleared the deal.
Amazon had mentioned in its petition that Future was deliberately and maliciously ignoring the SIAC order to close the RIL deal by obtaining clearances from authorities.

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