In relief for Amazon, Delhi HC stays ₹25,000-cr Future-Reliance deal

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2021

Upholds SIAC award; orders attachment of Biyani properties, fines Future ₹20 lakh

In a win for Amazon, the Delhi High Court has upheld the interim order of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) staying the ₹25,000-crore Future-Reliance deal.

The court also ordered the attachment of Kishore Biyani’s properties in addition to a fine of ₹20 lakh on Future Retail for “wilfully violating Singapore Arbitrator’s order”. The fine is to be deposited with the PM’s Relief Fund.

In January, Amazon had moved the Delhi High Court to implement SIAC’s interim stay. It had prayed for a restraining injunction against the Future Retail-Reliance Industries deal and sought damages, civil detention in prison, and attachment of the assets of the directors and promoters of the Future Group.

Fiat to Biyani

The court asked Biyani to present himself before it on April 28 and show-cause as to why he should not be detained for three months in a civil prison for violating the emergency arbitrator’s order.

In its interim restraint order, Justice Midha had directed the NCLT, and other authorities to not approve the Future Retail-Reliance deal. The court now directed the Future Group to not take any action in furtherance of the deal with Reliance.

Future may move SC

But the Delhi High Court order is not the end of the road for Future because the case is also being heard by the Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court’s interim order, Future can continue the proceedings at the NCLT, but no final approval can be given to the deal with Reliance till the matter is heard by the top court.

To make the matter more complex, the final arbitration proceedings at SIAC are also likely to commence by the end of this month as all the parties are filing their submissions.

Published on March 18, 2021

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