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Future Retail says Amazon filed petition in SC against 8 Feb order on RIL deal – Mint

Future Retail Ltd on Monday said that e-commerce major Amazon had filed a petition on Supreme Court against 8 February order on Future group’s 24,713-crore deal with Reliance.

The company also said that it will defend Amazon petitioner through legal counsel.

Future Retail’s scrip on BSE was trading 1.83% higher at 77.85 on Monday during late trade.

On 8 February, the Delhi High Court stayed its single judge direction to Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and various statutory authorities to maintain status quo with regard to its Reliance Retail deal. The court ruled that statutory authorities cannot be restrained from acting in accordance with law.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh passed the interim direction on FRL’s appeal challenging the February 2 order of the single judge.

The bench also declined Amazon’s request to keep its order in abeyance for a week so that it can explore appropriate remedies.

The court while staying the February 2 order said that statutory authorities, like National Company Law Tribunal, CCI and SEBI, cannot be restrained from proceeding in accordance with law with regard to the deal.

The court also issued notice to Amazon and sought its stand on FRL’s appeal by February 26 when it will commence day-to-day hearing of the matter.

In a later development last week, Mint reported that Amazon has moved the Supreme Court in a bid to block the Future-RIL deal.

Amazon contended that the Delhi high court’s division bench, according to the arbitration Act, did not have the authority to entertain Future Retail Ltd’s (FRL’s) appeal against the e-commerce giant. Neither did it have the authority to pass any interim order that acted against the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s 25 October emergency arbitration order that restrained Future Group from taking any step towards the asset sale deal with RIL, Amazon argued.

In its earlier order, the Delhi high court allowed Kishore Biyani-led Future Group to continue working toward its deal with RIL, stating that the US-based e-commerce giant cannot interfere in the deal and that regulatory authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and NCLT should not be prevented from discharging their statutory duties with regards to the deal.

Last month, Amazon had approached the Delhi High Court seeking enforcement of the interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that had restrained FRL from going ahead with the deal with Reliance.

Justice Midha had directed FRL and other parties to maintain status quo till pronouncement of the reserved order.

Amazon and Future have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at SIAC, arguing that the latter had violated their contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance.

Amazon had invested in Future Coupons in August 2019, with an option of buying into the flagship Future Retail after a period of three to 10 years.

In August last year, Future group had entered into a deal with billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s RIL to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units in a 24,713-crore deal.

On October 25, 2020, an interim award was passed in favour of Amazon with a single-judge bench of V K Rajah barring Future Retail from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.

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