In the ongoing battle between Amazon and RIL-backed Future Retail, Jeff Bezos-led e-comm giant has moved the Supreme Court, refusing to accept defeat in one of the biggest legal battles in India's corporate world. The Delhi High Court bench on March 22 had removed the stay over Future proceeding with a Rs 24,713 crore deal with Mukesh Ambani's retail company.
Amazon in its latest plea said the HC order was "random", "illegal" and "inequitable and unfair". It said there should be a ban on the HC order till an outcome of its earlier plea related to the case. A division bench of the Delhi High Court on March 22 granted a reprieve to Future from a single-judge bench order passed on March 18, which restrained it from taking any steps about the sale of its assets to Reliance Retail.
In its high court plea, US-based e-commerce giant Amazon had stated that Kishore Biyani-helmed company violated terms of the contract it had with Amazon by signing the RIL deal. The matter has now been listed for further hearing on April 30.
Justice JR Midha on March 18 held that Future Group wilfully violated Singapore Arbitrator's order and directed it not to take further action on the deal. The court asked them to show cause as to why they shouldn't be detained for three months in civil prison for violating the emergency arbitrator's order. It also imposed Rs 20 lakh fine on Future Group and its directors.
Future Group announced the Rs 24,713 crore deal to sell its retail and wholesale assets to Reliance retail on August 29, 2020. However, Amazon, which had bought a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons in 2019 for Rs 1,500 crore said its deal with Future prevents Biyani's company from selling shares of Future Retail to RIL as it indirectly owned about 3.5 per cent stake in Future Retail. On October 25, 2020, the Singapore arbitration court ruled in favour of Amazon and passed an interim order that put the Rs 24,713-crore Reliance Industries-Future deal on hold.