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Delhi HC restrains Future Retail from going ahead with Reliance deal

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Acting on a plea filed by e-commerce giant Amazon, the Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s order restraining Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Limited from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail.

Justice JR Midha, while remarking that the group wilfully violated the Singapore arbitrator’s order, directed Future Retail not to take any further step on its deal with Reliance.

The high court directed the Future Group and its directors to deposit Rs 20 lakh cost in Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for providing COVID-19 vaccines to senior citizens of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.

The court directed the presence of Biyani and others before it on April 28 as also attachment of their properties. The high court asked them to show cause as to why they should not be detained for 3 months under civil prison for violating emergency arbitrator’s order.

Amazon, in its interim plea, has sought to restrain Future Retail Limited from taking any steps to complete the transaction with entities that are a part of the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani Group.

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Future Group and Amazon have been locked in a battle after the US-based company took FRL into the emergency arbitration over alleged breach of a contract between them.

Case details

On August 29, 2020, Future Group announced the Rs 24,713-crore sale of its retail and wholesale assets to Reliance Retail Ltd, a unit of RIL.

Before that, in August 2019, Amazon bought 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons for Rs 1,500 crore. The world’s largest e-commerce giant says that the 2019 deal blocks Future Group from selling shares of Future Retail to rivals RIL as it indirectly owned about 3.5 per cent stake in Future Retail.

On October 25, the Singapore court had ruled in favour of Amazon and passed an interim order that put the RIL-Future deal on hold. The Court had written to BSE and SEBI to uphold the decision. Besides, Amazon had sent a legal notice to Future Coupons over its deal with Reliance.

 

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