Delhi HC stays implementation of status quo on Future-Reliance deal

New Delhi, Feb 8 : The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the implementation of status quo ordered by a single-judge bench on the Rs 24,713 crore deal between Future Retail Ltd and Reliance.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh noted that “there was no reason to seek a status quo order from single-judge bench. Statutory authorities cannot be restrained from proceeding in accordance with law”.

The bench also observed that Future Retail Ltd is not a party to the Arbitration Agreement and hence, the group of companies doctrine cannot be invoked.

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“Observations are only prima facie. Single judge not to be influenced,” the court further stated. Last week, Future Retail Ltd had moved the division bench to appeal against the status quo order passed by Justice J.R. Midha.

Amazon had dragged the Future Group to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre after the firm signed a pact to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to the Mukesh Ambani-headed Reliance in a Rs 24,713 crore deal.

As per the Amazon, Future Retail Ltd violated the contract by entering into the deal with Reliance. Giving relief to Amazon, Justice Midha, on February 2, directed Future Retail to maintain status quo in relation to its deal with Reliance.

The single judge bench was dealing with Amazon’s petition seeking enforcement of the Emergency Award passed under Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Amazon had moved the Delhi High Court last month for enforcement of the Emergency Award. It had alleged that Future Group’s Kishore Biyani as well as other promoters and directors were “deliberately and maliciously” disobeying the Emergency Award in spite of their participation in the arbitration proceedings.


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