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Supreme Court halts Reliance-Future Group deal on Amazon plea

Stops NCLT from approving the transaction till further orders

Amazon in advanced talks to buy 8-10% stake in Future Retail Representative image

The Supreme Court on Monday reversed a Delhi High Court order effectively halting Reliance Industries' acquisition of Kishore Biyan-led Future Group, marking another victory for Amazon. The apex court sought responses from Future Retail Ltd and others on Amazon's plea against the Delhi High Court direction to maintain status quo on the Future-Reliance deal.

A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai issued notices to Future Retail Ltd, Chairperson Kishore Biyani, and others and sought their replies.

Agreeing with the American e-commerce giant’s petition, the top court on Monday overturned a lower court’s ruling and stopped India’s company tribunal from approving the transaction till further orders. The court issued notices to Future Retail seeking written statements on Amazon’s petition. The court will hear the case again after five week.

The top court said the proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal will go on and but will not culminate into any final order on an amalgamation of FRL with Reliance.

While issuing notice distinct to FRL and others, the bench says that reply to the appeal of Amazon be filed in three weeks and rejoinder after two weeks thereafter and the Amazon's appeal will be listed for hearing after five weeks.  

Last month, Amazon had approached the Delhi High Court seeking enforcement of the interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that had restrained FRL from going ahead with the deal with Reliance.

In the interim order on February 8, the division bench said it was staying the single judge order as firstly, FRL was not a party to the share subscription agreement (SSA) between Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) and the US e-commerce giant was not a party to the deal between FRL and Reliance Retail. 

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