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Breaking: Future-Amazon Case :Delhi High Court Stays Single Bench Order Upholding Emergency Award

Shreya Agarwal
22 March 2021 6:13 AM GMT
Breaking: Future-Amazon Case :Delhi High Court Stays Single Bench Order Upholding Emergency Award
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A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court today stayed the operation of a Single-Judge bench order which had upheld an Emergency Award by a Singapore Tribunal against the contested Reliance-Future Retail Ltd retail stake sale deal worth nearly Rs.25,000 cr. Senior Advocate Harish Salve appeared for Future Retail Ltd and sought for stay of...

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court today stayed the operation of a Single-Judge bench order which had upheld an Emergency Award by a Singapore Tribunal against the contested Reliance-Future Retail Ltd retail stake sale deal worth nearly Rs.25,000 cr.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve appeared for Future Retail Ltd and sought for stay of the single bench order, which had also imposed a cost of Rupees 20 Lakhs on Future Group and its promoters including Kishore Biyani.
Salve submitted that the matter was under consideration before the Supreme Court in the SLP filed by Amazon against an earlier stay order passed by the Division Bench with respect to the statuts-quo order passed by the single bench on the Future-Reliance deal.
"Whatever order has been passed by the Ld. Single Judge is anyway subject to the SC order. The SC's last order was interim in nature and governs the rights of the parties as of today", Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who appeared for Amazon, told the bench. Subramaniam submitted that Amazon will move the Supreme Court to make the single judge order operative.
Senior Advocate Iqbal Chagla, appearing for Future Coupons Ltd, argued that the single judge order was against propriety as it was passed in disregard of the SC directions.
The order passed by the bench after hearing the senior lawyers recorded as follows :
"Detailed reasons have been given by the Ld. Single Judge in his order dated 18.03.2021. Counsel for Amazon has submitted that they're going to file another application before SC for execution of this order".


The Future Group companies had moved the Delhi High Court in appeal against the Mar 18 order by the single judge bench of Justice Midha.

A single judge bench of Justice Midha of the Delhi High Court had earlier allowed the application field by Amazon to enforce the emergency award against the Future-Reliance deal.

The High Court had held that the emergency arbitrator is an arbitrator for all the intents and purposes under Section 17(1) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act and an order passed by such an emergency arbitrator is enforceable under sec. 17 (2) of the Act.

The Court also held that the Respondent Future Group has raised a vague plea of nullity without substantiating the same. Moreover, the court went ahead to held that the petitioner's (Amazon.com) investment does not violate any law. In view of this, the Court rejected the contentions of the Future Retail Group with a cost of Rs. 20 lakhs to be deposited in PM fund of Covid 19 to be used in vaccination of senior citizens belonging to the below poverty line group. The Court ordered the same to be deposited within 2 weeks and the same shall be put on record within 1 week thereafter.

"The respondents have raised a vague plea of Nullity without substantiating the same. The interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator is not a Nullity as alleged by respondent No.2. Combining/treating all the agreements as a single integrated transaction does not amount to control of the petitioner over FRL and therefore, the petitioner‟s investment does not violate any law," the Court held.


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