Future Retail-RIL deal: SC stays proceedings in Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed all enforcement proceedings before the Delhi high court on Amazon‘s petition seeking enforcement arbitrary award restraining Future group from going ahead with its deal with Reliance.
It also directed that no statutory authority — NCLT, CCI, Sebi — will pass any final order relating to approval of the deal.
The apex court has deferred Future group’s appeal for further hearing after 4 weeks in order to wait for the Emergency Arbitrator’s decision on the company’s objection to proceedings by the e-commerce giant.
It considered the statements of senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for FRL and Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) respectively, that the arbitrator has reserved the final verdict in the case after hearing both sides.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for US-based e-commerce giant Amazon which has challenged the merger, said that it was not interested in any punitive action against FRL, FCPL and their Directors and consented to passing of the order staying the proceedings before the Delhi High Court.
Amazon and Future Retail have been engaged in a bitter legal fight over the later’s Rs 24,713 crore asset sale deal with Reliance Retail.
Both Future Retail Limited (FRL) and Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) have moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order of August 17 which said that it would implement the earlier order by its single-judge restraining FRL from going ahead with the deal in pursuance of the EA’s award.
The High Court had also ordered attachment of properties.
Amazon had first filed a plea before the high court (single judge) for enforcement of the October 25, 2020, EA award by Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) restraining FRL from going ahead with the deal with Reliance Retail.
On August 6, the Supreme Court gave the verdict in favour of Amazon and held that Singapore EA’s award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore FRL-Reliance Retail merger deal, is valid and enforceable under the Indian arbitration laws.
(With inputs from PTI)

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