Home >Companies >News >Future moves SC for early hearing of plea against HC order

Future Group on Friday urged the Supreme Court to grant an urgent hearing of its appeal against a Delhi high court order stalling its $3.4 billion sale of retail assets to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and attaching the assets of group chairman Kishore Biyani and other directors.

Senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the group companies, requested Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana to hear the appeal preferably on 9 September, a week before the Delhi high court is set to consider initiating compliance proceedings.

Salve informed the chief justice that the high court order, if implemented at the instance of Inc., will have far-reaching consequences. Thus, Future Group sought a hearing by the top court before the high court considered the matter on the next date, he said.

“The urgency is that single judge has passed certain orders on 18 March prescribing various sanctions. These will have far-reaching consequences. The single judge has fixed it on 17 September. Either the high court hearing should be kept off or grant us a hearing on 9 September so that we have enough time," Salve requested the chief justice.

The single judge order of the Delhi high court has gone beyond the scope of the enforceability of a Singapore-based emergency arbitrator (EA) award in favour of Amazon, Salve contended.

Rohatgi, on his part, submitted that the single judge had on 17 August given Future Group four weeks to obtain a stay from the Supreme Court, failing which it will restore the 18 March order on stalling the deal with RIL. “Our entire deal of 25,000 crore has been held up because of the single judge order," he said.

Justice Ramana said he would look into the file to pass an appropriate order on listing.

In a major victory for e-commerce company Amazon, the Supreme Court had on 6 August ruled that Future Group is bound by an emergency award that restrains it from a $3.4 billion sale of retail assets to RIL.

It said that the EA award, passed in October 2020, was enforceable under Indian arbitration law and will bind Future Group to pertinent agreements with Amazon, which claimed that Future’s decision to sell its assets to Reliance violated the former’s 2019 contract with it.

The top court accepted Amazon’s argument that the single judge order could not be challenged before the high court’s division bench.

With its ruling, the Supreme Court had also revived the high court’s March order that had held Kishore Biyani and other directors guilty for going ahead with the deal and had issued a show-cause notice to him and other directors as to why they should not be sent to prison, as sought by Amazon.

Subsequently, Future filed its appeal against the single judge order in the top court.

Meanwhile, on 17 August, the single judge took up Amazon’s plea for enforcement of the EA award by Singapore’s emergency arbitrator and deferred it by four weeks, making it clear that the high court will initiate implementing the March order if Future Group does not get a full stay from the apex court before 17 September when the case is listed next.

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