Delhi HC lifts previous order, allows Future-RIL deal

Delhi HC lifts previous order, allows Future-RIL deal
Photo Credit: VCCircle
9 Feb, 2021

A division bench of the Delhi High Court on Monday lifted an earlier order on the Rs 24,713 crore Future Group-Reliance Retail deal.

The bench headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh ruled that the company, Future Group, had no role in the deal between the ecommerce giant Amazon and Future Coupons dated August 22, 2019. Amazon had no reason “prima facie” to object to the deal.

The bench noted the previous judgement as an “ad interim status quo order”.

The company had filed an appeal at the Delhi HC against an ad interim status quo order dated 2nd February, 2021 passed by a Ld. Single Judge in proceedings filed by Amazon.Com Holdings LLC asking for a stay on the proposed transaction with the Reliance Group. 

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Amazon’s reluctance is due to the retail market share rival Ambani’s Reliance is likely to gain if it acquires Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail. For Future, the deal is vital for its survival. 

Given that none of the statutory authority like Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) and Competition Committee of India (CCI)  were not present at the Delhi HC during the time of judgement, the bench observed that “The Hon’ble Court also observed that statutory authorities cannot be restrained in private litigation from acting in accordance with law.” 

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) on January 6 had announced the formation of a three member arbitration panel headed by justice Michael Hwang, former judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore to pronounce the final verdict on the ongoing tussle between Amazon and Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail for its sale to Reliance Industries.