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Future’s request to terminate Amazon proceedings dismissed by Delhi High Court

The high court said it would be inappropriate for her to interfere with interlocutory orders.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a plea by Future Coupons Private Ltd (FCPL) seeking termination of arbitration proceedings initiated by US e-commerce giant Amazon before the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC).

The high court also dismissed FCPL’s other plea challenging a separate order by the arbitral tribunal allowing Amazon’s claim to supplement the statement of claim (SOC) originally filed by it in the arbitration proceedings.

Judge C Hari Shankar said that the orders issued by the arbitral tribunal on October 11 and June 28 are interlocutory orders and that an interlocutory order in an arbitral proceeding, which does not terminate or terminate the arbitration end, cannot be challenged under Article 227 of the Constitution.

The high court said it would be inappropriate for her to interfere with interlocutory orders.

“Reserving the liberty of both parties to put forward the arguments advanced in these applications at the appropriate stage, therefore, these applications are dismissed as inadmissible,” the High Court said in its 47-page judgment.

He also clarified that the tribunal expressed no opinion on the merits of the controversy between the parties and that the arbitral proceedings can continue unhindered and without the influence of any observations contained in this judgment.

In the high court, pleas were filed by FCPL, Future Coupons Resources Pvt Ltd, Akar Estate and Finance Pvt Ltd and the directors of FCPL the Biyanis.

These claims were filed as part of the ongoing litigation over the ongoing legal fight between Amazon and the Future Group over Future Retail Ltd’s (FRL) Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail.

On November 17, the Supreme Court made it clear that it would not allow the blocking of the arbitration proceedings pending before the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) regarding the ongoing legal battle between Amazon and the Future Group, claiming that the sanctity of this procedure was necessary. to maintain.

The court heard a plea from Amazon requesting an urgent hearing of the plea filed against the order of the Delhi High Court of November 3 by which it had then extended by 10 days the period initially granted by the arbitral tribunal to FCPL to the filing of its Response to Amazon’s Amended Request for Arbitration.

On February 1, the Supreme Court overturned three High Court orders, including for the seizure of the assets of Future Group and its directors and the refusal to grant a stay of the final arbitral award which had prevented FRL from proceeding with its agreement. with Reliance while ordering a new adjudication.

The higher court had said that FCPL and FRL were not given enough opportunity while dealing with Amazon’s pleas against the merger deal and asked the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to set up a bench for quickly settle the matter.

The Supreme Court had quashed the High Court’s order of February 2 last year, in which it had ordered the FRL to maintain the status quo on the merger agreement.

The March 18, 2021 order of the high court, upholding the emergency arbitral award, imposing a cost of Rs 20 lakh on FRL and its directors and seizing their assets, was also quashed by the high court which ruled referred the pleas of the Futures group companies regarding the arbitration award on the merger agreement with Reliance Retail to the Delhi High Court.

The court had also quashed the High Court’s October 29, 2021 order refusing to stay a decision of the arbitral tribunal refusing to interfere with SIAC’s Emergency Award (EA). The EA blocked FRL from moving forward with the merger deal.

Kishore Biyani and 15 others, including FRL and FCPL, have been embroiled in a series of disputes with Amazon, an investor in FCPL, over the Reliance deal. As a result of the EA, a three-member arbitral tribunal was constituted to decide issues arising from the agreement.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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