Amazon Vs Future: Delhi High Court Stays Single-Judge Order Against Future Group Companies
Kishore Biyani poses at Big Bazaar. (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg)

Amazon Vs Future: Delhi High Court Stays Single-Judge Order Against Future Group Companies

A Delhi High Court division bench stayed last week’s single-judge order that had imposed costs on some Future Group companies and others after holding them guilty of willful violation of the emergency arbitrator’s order in favour of Amazon.com Inc.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, on Monday granted the stay in an appeal filed by Future Coupons Pvt. against the order of Justice JR Midha.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve represented the Future Group. Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium, on behalf of Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, informed the court that they would be filing an application seeking the enforcement of the emergency arbitrator’s order in the Supreme Court.

Justice Midha had earlier ordered a status-quo, effectively putting the sale of retail assets by Future Retail Ltd. to Reliance Retail Ltd. on hold. The division bench stayed that interim order, prompting Amazon to approach the Supreme Court.

Last week, Justice Midha found the emergency arbitrator’s order to be valid and capable of being enforced in India. It ordered that no action in violation of the October order must be taken, and directed:

  • Assets of Future Retail, Future Coupons, Kishore Biyani and others to be attached.

  • Them to file details of their assets within 30 days.

  • A show-cause notice be issued to Kishore Biyani and others to explain why they should not be detained in civil prison.

  • Competent authorities to be approached for recall of the orders passed on their applications in violation of the Emergency Arbitrator’s order.

  • Kishore Biyani and others be present before the court on the next date of hearing.

Monday's stay is one among multiple orders to have come out from Future Group's battle with Amazon in different proceedings. The transaction between Future Retail and Reliance Retail has received the Competition Commission of India’s nod as well as a go-ahead from the market regulator SEBI. The scheme of arrangement is under consideration of the National Company Law Tribunal.

In last hearing, Supreme Court did not vacate the stay passed by the division bench but asked the NCLT to pass any final orders. The case is likely to come up on April 27, Subramanium informed the Delhi High Court on Monday.

Responding to Mondays stay and the Supreme Court's earlier order, Future Coupons Ltd. said in a media statement that "the NCLT can continue to hear the scheme as per the directions of the Supreme Court but no final orders can be passed until the Supreme Court decides on the petition filed by Amazon".’

After staying the single-judge order, the division posted the case for hearing on April 30.

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