Future Retail and its promoters have filed appeals before the division bench of the Delhi High Court challenging the order passed on Tuesday that dismissed the Group’s petitions for termination of the Amazon arbitration.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the pleas moved by Future Group companies seeking a direction to the arbitration tribunal, adjudicating Amazon’s objections against Future Group’s deal with Reliance, to take a decision on their application for terminating the arbitration proceedings before moving any further.
“The Company has filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court being Diary No.20543 / 2022 Date 05/01/2022 challenging the Order dated 04.01.2022 passed by Single Judge of Delhi High Court,” said Future Retail in a regulatory filing. The appeal will be listed before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court at 02:15 p.m. on Wednesday, it added. “Further, it may also be noted that Future Coupons Private Limited and other Promoters of the Company have also filed a similar appeal which would be heard simultaneously,” it added.
The Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) is adjudicating Amazon’s objections against Future Group’s Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. On Tuesday, the single-member bench of Justice Amit Bansal, said it was not for the court to interfere with the scheduling of the arbitration proceedings and no grounds for interference were made out in the present petitions.
He said the tribunal has already fixed January 8, as the date for hearing the termination application after cutting short the scheduled four days’ hearing of the expert witnesses. Amazon and Future have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October 2020, arguing that FRL had violated their contract by entering into a deal for the sale of its assets to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,500 crore.
In December, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) suspended its over-two-year-old approval for Amazon’s deal to acquire a 49-per cent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), FRL’s promoter, and also slapped a penalty of Rs 202 crore on the e-commerce major.
Amazon is objecting to the sell-off plans, accusing Future Group of breaching its 2019 investment pact. Future Coupons was founded in 2008, and is engaged in the business of marketing and distribution of gift cards, loyalty cards and other reward programmes to corporate customers. Several issues arising from the Amazon-Future legal battle are pending before the Supreme Court.
Reliance Retail Ventures, had for the second time – extended the timeline for completing its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Future group to March 31, 2022 as it still awaits regulatory and judicial clearances.