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The court has been hearing the case since last week.
The court has been hearing the case since last week.

Delhi HC to continue hearing Future Retail-Amazon case on Reliance deal today

  • The dispute relates to Future’s sale of its retail, wholesale and warehousing assets to Mukesh Ambani’s RIL for 24,713 crore. Amazon, which owns a 5% indirect stake in Future Retail, had contested the sale in the Singapore court

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday will continue hearing arguments by Future Retail Limited (FRL) and Amazon on the former’s plea seeking to restrain the US e-commerce company from approaching regulatory bodies such as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the retailer’s deal with Reliance's retail arm.

The court has been hearing the case since last week. Both the parties to the case will continue with their submissions today.

A single-judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta on 12 November had directed all the parties to file their written submissions.

On the last date of hearing, senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for FRL said the rights being claimed by Amazon are way beyond its actual legal rights.

An interim order in favour of Amazon by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is not binding, as it has not been decided by an Indian court, he had said.

“He (Amazon) is interfering with my rights to salvage my company. FRL have not entered any agreement and I (FRL) can prevent him from representing to the world that I need his permission to save myself," he added.

“Amazon says there is no agreement with Reliance yet. So what is the problem? It’s the transfer to Reliance. He (Amazon) has no rights in FRL...and they are telling the court that it cannot alienate without their consent. This bridge is a bridge in the clouds. Your action is limited to Biyanis, you go after them," Salve said, in reference to Future Group promoter Kishore Biyani. “What Amazon says is that without their permission they would not let FRL come out of woods and would let it die."

Amazon has opposed FRL’s plea, arguing that all the parties had agreed to arbitration before the Singapore tribunal and that its award is valid and legal.

“They (FRL) contend that FRL isn’t party to FCPL agreement. The arbitrator has looked at that. He notices that all the agreements were forwarded by same legal counsels. Who are the promoters actually? It was being controlled and directed by the Biyanis....Amazon is an investor...law gives me protective rights. Where is the FDI violation in this case?" senior advocate Gopal Subramanium appearing for Amazon had asked.

The dispute relates to Future’s sale of its retail, wholesale and warehousing assets to Mukesh Ambani’s RIL for 24,713 crore. Amazon, which owns a 5% indirect stake in Future Retail, had contested the sale in the Singapore court, claiming that its 2019 investment agreement bars the Future from selling its assets to RIL's arm Reliance Retail Ventured Ltd. The Singapore court on 25 October restrained Future from selling its assets to RIL.

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