New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): In a relief to the Future group, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the previous orders of the Delhi High Court refusing to stay arbitration tribunal decision restraining Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from going ahead with its Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli remanded the pleas of Future group firms concerning Emergency Award (EA) on a merger deal with Reliance Retail back to the High Court to be heard afresh.
The Bench also said it would request the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to set up a bench for speedy disposal of the case.
The apex court in its order stated, "We set aside the impugned orders dated February 2, 2021, and March 18, 2021, and other impugned orders dated October 29, 2021. We direct the High Court judge to consider the issue and pass an order on its own merits uninfluenced by observations."
The apex court has set aside the orders passed on February 2, 2021, and March 18, 2021, passed by the Delhi High Court directing attachment of assets of Future group companies and its promoters for breach of EA and the order dated October 29, 2021, by which the High Court declined Future Group's plea for a stay on the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal's refusal to vacate the Emergency Award which restrained Future's deal with Reliance.
US-based e-commerce giant Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, and FRL are embroiled in a legal fight over FRL's Rs 24,713 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail.
Amazon has been opposing the Future group decision to go ahead with the merger deal of FRL with Reliance Retail. It got the Emergency Award of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in its favour which restrained Future group from going ahead with the merger deal.
Amazon has a 49 per cent stake in FCPL, which in turn owns a 9.82 per cent stake in FRL. Amazon's contention is that it has invested Rs.1431 crore 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. (ANI)