In a fresh development, the Delhi High Court on Monday stayed last week’s judgement restraining Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail to sell its business.
The court was hearing Future’s appeal against the Single Judge order favouring the enforcement of Emergency Award (EA) against its deal with Reliance.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh stayed the March 18 order of Justice J.R. Midha imposing a cost of Rs 20 lakh on the Future Group as well as its directors, asking them to deposit it in Prime Minister’s Relief Fund within two weeks for being used for providing COVID-19 vaccination to senior citizens of Below Poverty Line (BPL) category of Delhi.
“…we hereby stay the order of the single judge dated March 18, 2021, till the next date of hearing,” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on April 30. The order came from Future Retail’s plea.
The bench also stayed the single judge order to attach assets of Future Group’s Kishore Biyani and others directing them to appear in the court on April 28.
The single judge’s March 18 order had come on Amazon’s plea seeking direction to order enforcement of the award by Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator’s on October 25, 2020, restraining Future Retail from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.
Amazon and Future Retail have fiercely locked horns at different courts.
Amazon, which has 49 per cent stake in FCPL, is seeking EA on ground that it invested Rs 1,431 crore solely on the basis of the protective rights of FCPL in FRL that the retail assets of FRL would not be alienated without the US-based company’s written consent and never to a ‘restricted person’.
On the other hand, FCPL (Future Coupon Private Ltd.), which has 9.82 per cent stake in FRL, has objected Amazon’s plea of enforcing EA on several grounds, including that EA is not Arbitrator or Arbitral Tribunal.
Throughout this time, FRL has maintained that the deal between FRL and Reliance retail was to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing units to RIL for a lumpsum amount of Rs 24,713 crore.