A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has stayed all proceedings before the Delhi High Court for four weeks related to the implementation of an award by Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) restraining Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from going ahead with its Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail.
The court, in a consent order, also directed the statutory authorities like National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and market regulator Sebi not to pass any final order related to the merger deal for the next four weeks.
Future Retail Ltd and Future Coupons Private Ltd had moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order of August 17 which said that it would implement the earlier order by its single-judge restraining FRL from going ahead with the deal in pursuance of the EA’s award. The High Court had also ordered attachment of properties.
Amazon dragged Future Group to arbitration at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year, arguing that FRL had violated their contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance. On August 6, the Supreme Court gave the verdict in favour of Amazon and held that Singapore EA’s award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore FRL-Reliance Retail merger deal, is valid and enforceable under the Indian arbitration laws.
The apex court bench considered the statements of senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for FRL and FCPL, respectively, that the arbitrator has reserved the final verdict in the case after hearing both sides.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for American e-commerce giant Amazon which has challenged the merger, said that it was not interested in any punitive action against FRL, FCPL and their directors and consented to passing of the order staying the proceedings before the Delhi High Court.
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