Amazon case: Future appeals against Delhi HC order

Mumbai | Updated on February 03, 2021

Future Retail Ltd (FRL) on Wednesday appealed with the Divisional Bench of the Delhi High Court against the status quo order passed by a single Bench on Tuesday. The company said the “order is beyond the scope of the petition” filed by Amazon.

Justice JR Midha had passed an interim order in favour of Amazon, blocking the Future Retail-Reliance deal.

Challenging the order, FRL in its appeal said: “Admit the instant appeal and set aside the Impugned Order dated February 2, 2021, passed by the Ld. Single Judge.” A copy of the appeal has been reviewed by BusinessLine.

FRL has objected to 13 points in its appeal, saying the impugned order jeopardizes the scheme (With Reliance), affecting the public at large.

Amazon had filed a petition with the Delhi High Court seeking to implement the interim order passed by the Emergency Arbitrator of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Justice Midha’s judgment directed the concerned statutory Indian regulatory authorities to maintain the status quo with respect to all matters in violation of the EA order. “Such relief is not sought in the petition and is beyond the scope of the petition,” FRL said in its appeal.

If further alleged that “Amazon’s petition is a back door challenge to the decision of statutory/regulatory authorities.” During the hearing, Senior Counsels representing FRL said multiple times that “Amazon is being a dog in the manger.”

“The impugned order has in effect not only reversed the findings of the coordinate bench of this Hon'ble Court, but has impermissibly rendered stillborn the statutory approvals that were validly issued by the jurisdictional authorities further to the direction issued by the coordinate bench.”

It further also said that FRL wasn’t even given an opportunity to all respondents to file affidavit in reply / counter affidavit. FRL has also claimed that Justice Midha’s order is contrary to the express findings made by the co-ordinate Justice Mukta Gupta’s order passed on 21st December, 2020, too.

The NCLT is supposed to hear the demerger appeal of FRL’s assets on February 4. In this regard, FRL said that “the Impugned Order impermissibly purports to issue a "direction" to another judicial body, the National Company Law Tribunal, to refrain from exercising its exclusive jurisdiction 9 under the Companies Act, 2013 to consider and grant sanction to the Scheme,” it said.

A copy of the appeal has been reviewed by BusinessLine.

According to the rules, Future Retail would have to approach the registrar, then file a petition. Post that, it would have to get the errors removed and then come up for hearing. However, according to sources, the judge said that the matter will be heard on February 04. Meanwhile, NCLT is likely to hear the demerger appeal on behalf of the Future Group on February 4.

Published on February 03, 2021

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