The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the Emergency Arbitration order against Future Group putting on hold the retail giant’s acquisition by Reliance Retail, Bar & Bench reported. The court upheld that the purchase violated an agreement that was signed between Amazon and Future Coupons, an investor company in Future Retail Limited. The court observed that the Future Group had agreed to give Amazon a veto on transactions like the Reliance Retail acquisition, but failed to hold good to that commitment. The judgement is a win for Amazon, but the matter is likely to be decided only in the Supreme Court, where a hearing for the case is already due, but that appeal is from Amazon.
This has been one of Amazon’s biggest legal challenges in India. The company invested over Rs 1,000 crores in Future Coupons under the condition that the retail giant wouldn’t be sold off without its consent. The Future Group did so anyway, and argued in court, variously, that Amazon had no standing to enforce the Singapore emergency arbitrator’s ruling (for a supposed lack of jurisdiction), and that the agreement signed with Future Coupons didn’t extend to Future Retail. The Delhi High Court rejected this argument, saying that the Singapore arbitrator was right to consider the Future Group’s related companies when deciding the case.
The high court also ruled that Future Retail must deposit Rs 20 lakh into the PM-CARES fund, and that company executives must respond on why they shouldn’t be jailed.