Future-Reliance deal: SC stays proceedings in Delhi HC, asks NCLT, CCI, SEBI not to pass final orders

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September 09, 2021 2:02 PM

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, in a consent order, also directed the statutory authorities like National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and market regulator Sebi not to pass any final order related to the merger deal for next four weeks.

supreme courtIt considered the statements of senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for FRL and Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) respectively, that the arbitrator has reserved the final verdict in the case after hearing both sides.

The Supreme Court Thursday stayed all the proceedings before the Delhi High Court for four weeks related to implementation of an award by Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) restraining Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from going ahead its Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, in a consent order, also directed the statutory authorities like National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and market regulator Sebi not to pass any final order related to the merger deal for next four weeks.

It considered the statements of senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for FRL and Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) respectively, that the arbitrator has reserved the final verdict in the case after hearing both sides.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for US-based e-commerce giant Amazon which has challenged the merger, said that it was not interested in any punitive action against FRL, FCPL and their Directors and consented to passing of the order staying the proceedings before the Delhi High Court.

The FRL and FCPL have moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order of August 17 which said that it would implement the earlier order by its single-judge restraining FRL from going ahead with the deal in pursuance of the EA’s award. The High Court had also ordered attachment of properties.

Amazon dragged Future Group to arbitration at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year, arguing that FRL had violated their contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance. On August 6, the Supreme Court gave the verdict in favour of Amazon and held that Singapore EA’s award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore FRL-Reliance Retail merger deal, is valid and enforceable under the Indian arbitration laws.

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