The Delhi High Court Friday declined Future Group’s plea for keep on an arbitration tribunal order refusing to intervene with the Emergency Award (EA) which restrained it from going forward with the Rs 24,731 crore merger take care of Reliance Retail.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait sought response from US-based e-commerce big Amazon which had challenged the merger earlier than the Singapore arbitration tribunal underneath SIAC, and listed the appeals by Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) and Future Retail Ltd (FRL) for additional listening to on January 4.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, showing for FRL, urged the court docket to go an interim order clarifying that an earlier order handed by the Supreme Court – which stayed all proceedings in relation to the enforcement of the EA – would stay in pressure regardless of the following order handed by the duly constituted arbitration tribunal.
“I want the court to clarify which order will prevail. That (Supreme Court order) was a consent order. This order is in place today. After this, the tribunal order was passed. What is the interim order that I’m seeking? That the Supreme Court order will continue to operate… I don’t want to be told that the tribunal order is in force,” he submitted. Senior counsel Parag P Tripathi, representing FCPL, additionally urged the excessive court docket to “reiterate the order of the Supreme Court”.
Kishore Biyani and 15 others together with FRL and FCPL have been embroiled in a series of litigations with Amazon, an investor in FCPL, over the take care of Reliance. Following the EA, subsequently, a three-member arbitral tribunal was constituted to resolve the problems arising from the deal.
During the listening to, the court docket noticed that in view of the pendency of associated appeals earlier than the highest court docket, it will want a “clearance” to proceed with the contemporary appeals.
“How can you expect interim order to be passed by this court? Supreme Court order says proceedings stayed… Let us get clearance from Supreme Court that this is the position now (that) this subsequent order was passed,” the choose mentioned. The court docket additional noticed that the order handed by one other choose of the excessive court docket earlier this 12 months, which had upheld the EA, was but to be put aside and solely enforcement proceedings had been stayed.
“In both the appeals, issue notice… Application for ad-interim relief is dismissed,” the choose ordered. Senior advocates Gopal Subramanium and Rajiv Nayar appeared for Amazon and mentioned that the Future group was sure by the EA.
In its plea, FRL has challenged the order of the arbitration tribunal on the bottom that it’s “deeply flawed” and is “liable to set aside on fact and in law” as there isn’t any arbitration settlement between FRL and Amazon.
Senior lawyer for FRL said that the take care of REL was “time-sensitive” and never solely the corporate however hundreds of workers would endure if it doesn’t undergo.
On September 9, the highest court docket had stayed for 4 weeks all proceedings earlier than the excessive court docket in relation to the implementation of the EA and in addition directed statutory authorities like National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to not go any last order associated to the merger deal within the meantime.
Subsequently, the arbitration tribunal underneath the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), on October 21, rejected the plea of FRL to elevate the interim keep granted by its EA on October 25 final 12 months, observing that “the Award were correctly granted”.
Amazon had dragged Future Group to arbitration at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October final 12 months, arguing that FRL had violated their contract by coming into into the take care of rival Reliance. The FRL and FCPL had moved the highest court docket in opposition to the excessive court docket order of August 17 which mentioned that it will implement the sooner order by its single-judge restraining FRL from going forward with the deal in pursuance of the EA”s award.
The excessive court docket had mentioned that within the absence of a keep, it must implement the order handed by its single choose, Justice J R Midha, on March 18. On March 18, in addition to restraining FRL from going forward with its take care of Reliance Retail, the court docket had imposed prices of Rs 20 lakh on the Future Group and others related to it and ordered attachment of their properties.
On August 6, the Supreme Court gave the decision in favour of Amazon and held that EA award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore FRL-Reliance Retail merger deal, is legitimate and enforceable underneath Indian arbitration legal guidelines.
The prime court docket had additionally put aside the 2 orders of February 8 and March 22 of the division bench of the Delhi High Court order which had lifted the single-judge’s orders staying the FRL-RRL merger. A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, since retired, had handled the bigger query and held that an award of an EA of a overseas nation is enforceable underneath the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act.