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Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group is ‘mischaracterizing’ a Delhi high court order on their dispute, alleged Amazon.mint (MINT_PRINT)
Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group is ‘mischaracterizing’ a Delhi high court order on their dispute, alleged Amazon.mint (MINT_PRINT)

Future-Reliance deal: Delhi HC seeks Biyanis' and RIL's stand on Amazon plea

  • A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to FRL, Reliance Retail and the Biyanis
  • Amazon in January wrote to Sebi yet again, apprising the market regulator of the formation of the arbitration tribunal at SIAC while urging it to suspend the review of the Future-RIL deal

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) on Amazon's plea challenging the prima facie observations by a single judge that the e-commerce giant's attempt to control the Indian entity was violative of FEMA and FDI rules. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh heard the appeal.

The court issued notice to FRL, Reliance Retail and the Biyanis seeking their stand on the plea by Amazon against some of the observations by the single judge in a 21 December, 2020 interim order.

On 21 December, 2020, a single member bench of the Delhi HC had rejected Future Group's plea to restrain Amazon from writing to regulatory authorities about the SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) arbitral order but gave a go-ahead to the regulators to decide over the deal.

The court earlier had made several observations indicating that Amazon's attempt to control Future Retail through a conflation of agreements Amazon has with an unlisted unit of the Indian company will be violative of the FEMA FDI rules.

Amazon, in its appeal, has sought setting aside the observations as they have a bearing on its case in arbitration proceedings that were initiated before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

It has contended that the observations are inconsistent with the findings in the SIAC emergency arbitral (EA) order of October 25, 2020 against FRL's asset sale under a 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.

In January, 2021, Amazon wrote to Sebi yet again, apprising the market regulator of the formation of the arbitration tribunal at SIAC while urging it to suspend the review of the Future-RIL deal.

Amazon also requested Sebi to suspend “review of the Impugned Transaction as well as the scheme involving the Impugned Transaction, and not granting any no-objection" for the Future-RIL deal.

The US e-commerce major has written a series of letters to regulators and the bourses, starting with its complaint on 3 October. This is the sixth instance of the e-commerce giant writing to Sebi on the matter.

Amazon's argument is that Future violated the contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance.

(With inputs from agencies)

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