The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued summons to Amazon on a plea by Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) alleging that the US-based e-commerce giant was obstructing its deal with Reliance Retail on the basis of an interim order by a Singapore arbitrator.
Justice Mukta Gupta has issued summons to all parties involved in the arbitration proceedings, which comprises of Amazon, Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) and Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL), on the FRL suit.
After hearing day-long arguments on behalf of FRL, FCPL, Reliance and part arguments by Amazon, the court has asked the parties to file their written statements within 30 days. Amazon's arguments will continue on Wednesday.
Last week, Future Retail, that owns the Big Bazaar chain of supermarkets, filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Amazon, seeking relief against the arbitration order that has stayed its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Industries. The firm has urged the high court to restrain the American firm from writing to SEBI, Competition Commission of India (CCI) and other regulators about Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC's) order, saying it amounts to interfering with the agreement with RIL.
The SIAC, on October 25, passed an interim order in favour of Amazon barring FRL from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.
The conflict between Amazon and Future Group is related to Future Retails' sale of its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets to Reliance Retail for Rs 24,713 crore. Amazon, that holds a 5 per cent indirect stake in FRL, has challenged the deal in the Singapore court, claiming that its 2019 investment agreement bars Future group from selling its assets to Mukesh Ambani-led firm.
Amazon holds 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, which in turn holds 7.3 per cent stake in Future Retail (FRL). Amazon's investment came with contractual rights that include right of first refusal and a non-compete clause. The clause included a list of "restricted persons" that Future could not sell its assets to, including Reliance.
Following relief from Singapore arbitrator, Amazon wrote to market regulator SEBI, stock exchanges and CCI, urging them to take into consideration the interim decision as it is a binding order.
With PTI inputs