Future Retail vs Amazon: Delhi HC begins hearing

The Delhi High Court is hearing an appeal filed by Future Retail Limited (FRL) against the Court’s order passed earlier this week directing status quo on FRL’s deal with Reliance.

As a relief to Amazon, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday 2nd February, “In that view of the matter, the respondents are directed to maintain status quo as on today at 04.50 P.M. till the pronouncement of the reserved order.”

On 2nd February, while reserving its order in Amazon’s interim plea to halt Kishore Biyani’s Future Group companies and officials from depending on approvals given by statutory authorities in relation to the deal. A Single Judge Bench of Justice JR Midha had directed Future Retail Ltd to maintain status quo in relation to its with deal with Reliance.

Present reports from the court are –

  • Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar for Amazon said that there is maintainability issue. Senior Advocate Harish Salve responded to this by saying that they anticipated a maintainability issue.
  • There is no Arbitration Agreement between FRL and Amazon as such.
  • The single judge says that there may be an Emergency Arbitrator – The objective of EA is to provide urgent pro tem or conservatory measures to a party or parties that cannot await the formation of an Arbitral Tribunal.
  • Salve said, “All this has to be done by the Arbitral Tribunal and not by the Emergency Arbitrator. Without prejudice, FRL raised objections.”
  • Salve made his case by saying, “There are four companies in play. Three are before the court. There is a company called FRL. It is a listed entity. It as 400 thousand shareholders and owns close to 1500 shops. It employs 25,000 people. Amazon has an agreement with FCPL.”

“FCPL has a business of coupons and loyalty cards of Future Group. There is no restriction in that business. Amazon does an agreement with FCPL. The agreement says it to develop the business. The business of FCPL. Amazon is not a party to this agreement. Common ground,” he continued. 

The court proceedings are still underway as Reliance gets involved with their 24 crore deal to save all 25,000 employees, take all liabilities, keep the banks and money safe.

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