Amazon moves Delhi High Court seeking detention of Kishori Biyani & other Future Group directors

By: |
January 26, 2021 4:30 AM

It alleged grave and material breach of binding agreements committed by the Future Group, particularly on account of the proposed transaction relating to transfer of retail assets of Future Retail to the Mukesh Ambani group.

The SIAC on October 25 had passed an interim order in favour of Amazon barring Future Retail from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.The SIAC on October 25 had passed an interim order in favour of Amazon barring Future Retail from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.

E-commerce giant Amazon on Monday moved the Delhi High Court alleging “deliberate and wilful breach and violation” of the SIAC emergency arbitrator’s award by Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.

It has sought detention of Biyani and other directors of Future Retail, Future Coupons, Future Coupons Resources and Akar Estate and Finance in civil prison for violating the arbitrator’s interim award that stalled Future Group’s $3.4-billion deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries.

While seeking to restrain Future Group from going ahead with its deal, the e-commerce giant in its fresh plea also urged the HC to stop Future Retail from alienating and creating third party rights in its assets. It also wants the HC to direct Future Group, including Biyani, to disclose their assets and wants their assets to be attached.

It alleged grave and material breach of binding agreements committed by the Future Group, particularly on account of the proposed transaction relating to transfer of retail assets of Future Retail to the Mukesh Ambani group.

The SIAC on October 25 had passed an interim order in favour of Amazon barring Future Retail from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.

The interim injunctions granted by the emergency arbitration are enforceable in the same manner as if it were an order of the court, it said, adding it was shocked to note that Future Retail and others ignored the injunctions and pursued the statutory authorities/ regulators to approve the transaction with the Ambani firm in direct contravention of the order.

“The respondents’ action of simply ignoring the order and continuing with the impugned transaction is not only contumacious but calls into the serious question their respect for enforceability of contracts, the rule of law and the administration of justice, including the arbitral process,” Amazon, which owns 9.83% equity in Future Retail, said in its application.

Soon after receiving the Amazon investment, Future Retail and others began breaching their contractual commitments with impunity and also approved a transaction with the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (Reliance Industries) Group firm on August 29, 2020, in direct contravention of the e-commerce firm’s contractual rights, the appeal said.

The Delhi High Court on January 13 issued notices to Future Retail, Kishore Biyani, Reliance Retail, and others on another appeal by Amazon that sought quashing of “certain prima facie observations” made by a single-judge Bench in its December 21 order which allowed Future Group to go ahead with its deal with Reliance Retail deal subject to clearance by the concerned regulatory authorities.

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