Supreme Court dismisses High Court’s order on Future-Reliance
The US e-commerce major Amazon has been opposing the merger deal
The Supreme Court has set aside the Delhi High Court order of October 2021. It has refused to stay the award passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) tribunal. The tribunal had restrained the Future Group from going ahead with its Rs.24,731 crores merger deal with Reliance Retail.
The bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli remanded the matter to the Delhi High Court to be considered afresh.
The court also set aside the high court’s single-judge order of February 2021 that upheld the award of an emergency arbitrator. The high court had also directed the attachment of the properties.
“We direct the judge to consider the case on its own merits without adhering to observations made herein,” the apex court said.
The judgment was delivered on a batch of pleas filed by the Future Group firms against the Delhi High Court order declining stay on the tribunal’s decision refusing to interfere with the Emergency Award (EA) of the SIAC.
The SIAC tribunal had earlier granted relief to Amazon and prevented Future Group from going ahead with the merger deal with Reliance Retail.
Subsequently, the Future Group companies moved the top court against the high court’s order declining its plea for stay on the arbitration tribunal decision.
Represented by senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi and senior advocate Harish Salve, the companies had said that the deal should be allowed to go through, failing which Future Retail would “sink.”
Amazon, which has shares in Future Coupons, has opposed the deal citing a violation of Future’s contract with it.
In October 2020, a panel of arbitrators at the SIAC had upheld the EA, after which the high court declined to stay the same. It prompted the appeal before the top court.
Rohatgi and Salve were assisted by Naik Naik and Company advocates, Ameet Naik, Madhu Gadodia and Abhishek Kale.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium appeared for Amazon.