Future Retail moves HC against order to maintain status quo on deal with Reliance

Amazon has approached the High Court seeking direction to order enforcement of the award by Singapore's Emergency Arbitrator (EA), restraining FRL from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.
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Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) moved the Delhi High Court on Wednesday against its single judge order directing the company to maintain status quo in relation to its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail, which has been objected to by US-based ecommerce giant Amazon.

FRL's appeal was mentioned before a Joint Registrar of the high court who allowed it to be listed for hearing on Thursday, a lawyer associated with the case said.

Justice J R Midha on Tuesday said the court was satisfied that an immediate interim order was required to be passed to protect the rights of Amazon.

"Respondents (FRL) and other respondents are directed to maintain status quo as on today at 4:49 PM till pronouncement of the reserved order," the judge had said.

Amazon has approached the high court seeking direction to order enforcement of the award by Singapore's Emergency Arbitrator (EA) restraining FRL from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.

Amazon has sought to restrain Kishore Biyani-led Future Group from taking any steps to complete the transaction with entities that are a part of the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (MDA) Group.

Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, in its plea, has also sought detention of the Biyanis, directors of FCPL and FRL and other related parties in civil prison, and attaching of their properties for alleged "wilful disobedience" of the emergency arbitrator's order.

Earlier in January 2021, Amazon had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking the detention of Future Group founders, including CEO Kishore Biyani, and seizure of their assets as it sought to block Future Group from selling retail assets to Reliance Industries.

In the petition, Amazon sought enforcement of the Singapore arbitrator's ruling in October against its partner Future's Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance.

Amazon sought the Biyani family to be directed to "disclose their assets, including movable and immovable property," and the same be attached.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Anju Narayanan