Amazon-Future-Reliance Case Adjourned by Supreme Court Till July 20

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The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned for July 20 the Amazon-Future-Reliance case in view of the final hearing before the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal next week.

A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman adjourned the matter after senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for Future Retail submitted that the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal is hearing the application from Tuesday and requested for the matter to be heard next week.

Earlier, the Bench had stayed further proceedings before the Single Judge and Division Bench of Delhi High Court in the Amazon-Future-Reliance case.

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The top court was hearing an appeal of e-commerce giant Amazon challenging the Delhi High Court’s decision to stay an order upholding an emergency arbitrator award restraining Future Retail Limited (FRL) from going ahead with its Rs. 24,731-crore assets sale deal with Reliance Retail.

On March 22, a Division Bench of High Court Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh had stayed a March 18 order of Justice JR Midha ordering attachment of the assets of Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL), FRL, Kishore Biyani, and 10 others promoters.

Amazon has been seeking enforcement of an order of the emergency arbitrator (EA) at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) restraining FRL from taking any steps to transfer its retail assets.

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Amazon has 49 percent stake in FCPL, which in turn owns 9.82 percent stake in FRL. Amazon’s contention is that it has invested Rs.1,431 crores in FCPL on the clear understanding that FRL would be the sole vehicle for its retail business and its retail assets would not be alienated without consent and never to a ”Restricted Person”.

FRL, on the other hand, has objected to the enforcement of the EA award saying that it is not an order under Section 17(1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and hence not enforceable in India.

FRL has contended that the Rs 24,731-crore deal was very important to save its 25,000 employees. It had said that as per the deal, Reliance will not only take over FRL”s shops but also all its liabilities.

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