NEW DELHI: E-commerce Amazon has moved Supreme Court against the Rs 24,713 crore Future-Reliance Retail deal, challenging the lifting of “status quo” orders by the division bench of Delhi High Court. The US-based e-tailer has termed the Delhi High Court judgment revoking a previous single judge decision blocking the deal as “illegal” and “arbitrary”
On Monday, a division bench of the Delhi High Court led by Chief Justice DN Patel had stayed a single judge’s direction of February 2 putting a temporary freeze on the deal between Future Retail and Reliance. The order came on FRL’s appeal seeking stay of the February 2 order where FRL claimed that due to the status quo position, the proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for approving the amalgamation scheme were held up. This could be an “absolute disaster” for the company with its outlets across India being shut and nearly 25,000 employees losing their livelihood.
The February 8 order of the Delhi High Court had noted, “Statutory authorities should not be restrained from proceeding in accordance with law on Future-Reliance deal,” while lifting the single judge’s status quo direction. Stating consequences of lifting the status quo, Amazon’s petition said, “The greater the progress made towards the completion of the impugned transaction, the harder it will be to unravel it. Over time, the interests of additional third parties may also become entwined with the transaction and be subsequently compromised.”
The court also recorded that as part of Amazon’s investment agreement into Future Coupons, Future
Retail was not a signatory to that investment agreement. On Tuesday, Future Group had filed a caveat before the top court requesting to be heard if Amazon files a plea. Future denies any wrongdoing and says it would collapse if the transaction fails.
FRL, whose board in August last year approved the amalgamation of FRL along with other group companies with Future Enterprises Limited to sell the retail and wholesale businesses to Reliance Retail, owned by Reliance, said it will continue to closely monitor any material changes to future economic conditions.