Amazon-Future case: Supreme Court expresses displeasure over parties filing ‘section 22-23’

Amazon-Future case: Supreme Court expresses displeasure over parties filing ‘section 22-23’

Angered by truckloads of heavy documents filed by parties in a batch of petitions arising out of the Amazon-Future retail case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked whether the purpose was merely to drag down or harass judges and sought a simple short compilation of documents .

A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli asked the counsel for the parties to file lesser amount of documents so that the matter could be disposed of and fixed December 8 for hearing the matter.

I am sorry to say this to all of you. What’s the fun in filing sections 22-23 of the record. The CJI asked how many documents have been filed repeatedly by both the parties and whether the purpose is only to drag or otherwise harass the judges.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Future Group, said it was completely unnecessary and suggested that both the parties may discuss and file a common document with short written notes.

There is a problem in finding out the clause, the bench said, giving us some time. do one thing. Can you make a small compilation of these documents you are relying on. Quantity truckload recorded yesterday.

Meanwhile, the bench allowed the IDBI trusteeship, which had moved the apex court to pledge Future Retail’s shares, withdrew its plea and said it would move the Delhi High Court with its plea.

The pledged shares have been attached on the orders of the High Court, said senior advocate NK Kaul, adding that since the apex court had restrained the High Court from proceeding in the matter, the IDBI trusteeship has failed to access its shares.

On November 11, Supreme Court judge Justice Hima Kohli had offered to recuse herself from hearing the petitions, which held that she and her family members owned Reliance Industries Limited, one of the group’s firms. is one of the interested parties to the litigation.

A battery of lawyers appearing for the parties Amazon, Future Retail Limited (FRL) and Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL) said, we have no objection.

The top court was hearing a fresh plea by Future Group against the recent order of the Delhi High Court, seeking stay of the arbitration tribunal’s decision refusing to interfere with the Singapore International Arbitration Center’s (SIAC) Emergency Award (EA). Her petition was rejected, which prevented it from going. Ahead with a merger deal worth Rs 24,731 crore with Reliance Retail.

The bench was also hearing a counter plea by Amazon, which sought to restrain regulators from approving the merger deal.

It said the final order was passed with the consent of the parties that regulatory authorities would not approve the merger deal without prior permission from the apex court.

The dispute over the merger deal has seen several rounds of litigation after the SIAC passed an EA in favor of the US firm, barring the merger on October 25, 2020.

On 21 October this year, a duly constituted panel of arbitrators in the SIAC reiterated the EA’s decision.

Then on October 29, the Delhi High Court dismissed Future Group’s plea to stay the arbitration tribunal’s order, which refused to interfere with EA, which granted it the Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail. But stopped moving forward.

The High Court sought a response from Amazon, which had challenged the merger before SIAC, and listed the appeals by FCPL and FRL for further hearing on January 4, 2022.

FRL and FCPL recently moved the apex court against the order with fresh arguments.

Kishor Biyani and 15 others including FRL and FCPL are embroiled in several lawsuits with Amazon, an investor in FCPL, over the deal with Reliance. After the EA, subsequently, a three-member arbitral tribunal was constituted to decide the issues arising out of the deal.

On September 9, the apex court had stayed for four weeks all proceedings before the high court regarding the implementation of the EA and also statutory authorities such as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India. was instructed. The Exchange Board of India (SEBI) meanwhile will not pass any final order regarding the merger deal.

Subsequently, the arbitration tribunal under SIAC dismissed the FRL’s plea on October 21, seeking to remove the interim stay granted by its EA on October 25 last year, holding that “the award was correctly delivered”. .

Amazon had dragged Future Group to arbitration in SIAC in October last year, arguing that FRL had breached their contract by making a deal with rival Reliance.

FRL and the FCPL had moved the apex court against the August 17 High Court order which said that it would quash its single-judge earlier order restraining FRL from proceeding with the deal pursuant to the EA’s award. will apply.

The high court had said that in the absence of an adjournment, it would have to implement the order passed by its single judge Justice JR Midha on March 18.

On March 18, apart from restraining FRL from pursuing its deal with Reliance Retail, the court had imposed a cost of Rs 20 lakh on Future Group and others associated with it and ordered attachment of their properties.

On August 6, the Supreme Court ruled in Amazon’s favor and held that the EA award, quashing the Rs 24,731 crore FRL-Reliance Retail merger deal, is valid and enforceable under Indian arbitration laws.

The top court had also set aside two division bench orders of February 8 and March 22 of the Delhi High Court order, which had quashed the single-judge order that had stayed the FRL-RRL merger.

A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman since his retirement had dealt with the larger question and held that an award of an EA of a foreign country is enforceable under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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