Amazon has moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking interim relief and for allowing arbitration proceedings with the Future Group to restart before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
The 900-page special leave petition has at least eight prayers. The e-commerce giant said that if the arbitral proceedings do not continue at SIAC, it would gravely endanger the sanctity of arbitral proceedings.
Along with this, “Irreparable harm will be caused to the Petitioner in the event the impugned Interim Common order is not stayed by this Hon’ble Court as the same will frustrate the expeditious disposal of the Arbitration Proceedings, which are in their final stages. Therefore, this Hon’ble Court ought to protect the rights of the Petitioner as the balance of convenience clearly lies in favour of the Petitioner.” The petition was reviewed by busienssline.
On 28 June, SIAC rejected a Future Group plea seeking termination of arbitration proceedings over the US giant’s investment in Future Coupons. Future Group filed 200 petitions to stall arbitration proceedings.
In its order, the SIAC held that it would continue with the arbitration proceedings that began in October 2020 after Future Group proposed to sell its retail, wholesale, and logistics assets to Reliance industries for ₹24,713 crore. Amazon — which invested in Future Coupons — has locked horns with Future Group ever since it decided to enter into a deal with Reliance. Earlier this year, Future Group’s stakeholders rejected the deal, and took the company to the insolvency court.
Gopal Subramanium, senior counsel, representing Amazon, informed the SC on Thursday that Future Group had expressed unhappiness at the fact that the tribunal has been counting with arbitration proceedings. He further said that Future Group is trying to stall the arbitral proceedings. The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice J.B. Pardiwala is hearing the petition.
The CJI called out to the counsel of Future Group that, “You cannot keep stultifying the proceedings before the arbitral tribunal and this is just a ploy to delay the proceedings…All ploys by well heeled parties to delay the arbitration...Your client is trying to be too clever by half... As a Chief Justice of this court, I am concerned.” He also called out the the debt-strapped retail chain for filing over 200 petitions to stall arbitration proceedings.
Senior advocate KV Vishwanathan submitted that the orders in the petitions filed by them including on the issue of maintainability of the arbitration proceedings have been reserved by the High Court.
However, the CJI was not inclined to pass an order. Instead he said that it was an international arbitration. He questioned, “Is this how the courts of this country will bring repute to the process? Global India must maintain the sanctity of international arbitral proceedings. We will not let the arbitration process be stultified,” he added.
The matter will be next heard on November 25. The chief justice has directed the parties to be present before the SIAC on November. 28