The Delhi High Court Friday listed for hearing on February 24 a batch of pleas concerning the ongoing legal tussle between US e-commerce major Amazon and Future Group over Future Retail Ltd's (FRL's) Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail. Justice C Hari Shankar, who had earlier asked the parties to file a short note detailing the controversy, recorded the case history in his order while clarifying that the recital of facts was only intended for the future hearings and was not an expression on the merits of the case. The court has not applied its mind to the case even tentatively, added the judge. On February 1, the Supreme Court had set aside three high court orders including the attachment of properties of Future Group and its directors and the refusal to grant a stay on the final arbitral award which had restrained FRL from going ahead with its deal with Reliance while ordering fresh adjudication.
The top court had said that Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) and FRL were not provided sufficient opportunities while dealing with the pleas of Amazon against the merger deal and requested the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to set up a bench for speedy disposal of the case.
The Supreme Court had set aside the high court's order of February 2 last year, by which it had directed FRL to maintain the status quo concerning the merger deal.
The March 18, 2021 order of the high court, upholding the Emergency Arbitral award, imposing a cost of Rs 20 lakh on FRL as well as its directors and attaching their properties, was also been set aside by the top court which remanded the pleas of Future group firms relating to arbitral award on the merger deal with Reliance Retail back to the Delhi High Court.
The 28-page judgement of the apex court had also quashed the October 29, 2021 order of the high court declining a stay on an arbitration tribunal decision refusing to interfere with the Emergency Award (EA) of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
The EA had restrained FRL from going ahead with the merger deal.
Kishore Biyani and 15 others including FRL and FCPL have been embroiled in a series of litigations with Amazon, an investor in FCPL, over the deal with Reliance. Following the EA, subsequently, a three-member arbitral tribunal was constituted to decide the issues arising from the deal.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today