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Amazon and Future agree to resume arbitration proceedings

The Supreme Court asked Amazon and Future group to file a joint memo of consent terms after both companies agreed on Monday to resume proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in a dispute concerning Future’s proposed ₹24,500 crore deal with Reliance.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana asked the companies to file the joint memo by April 5.

“It is stated and agreed by both parties that they wish to appear before the Singapore Internationl Arbitration Centre and request that the proceedings, pending adjudication before it, be expedited on the issues agreed upon between them,” the Supreme Court recorded in its order.

The court listed the case next for April 6.

The Bench refused to intervene in Amazon’s application to stop the takeover of Future’s retail stores. The court orally remarked that Amazon could very well approach the Delhi High Court for relief.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, for Amazon, had been urging the court for resumption of the arbitration proceedings and also for the protection of Future Retail Ltd.’s assets in the meantime. Mr. Subramanium had submitted that attempts were on to “topple the apple cart” and “things were being done”.

“Things are being done… If I were to lose, without a manner of doubt, the scheme (the deal) will go through and the assets will go through the scheme to Reliance. I have no issue at all. But if I succeed, the assets should be there. I only want a protective order in relation to the retail assets,” Mr. Subramanium had pleaded in the previous hearing.

Future, represented by senior advocate Harish Salve, had however argued that Amazon was trying to “destroy” the company it by not letting it go ahead with the proposed deal with Reliance while relentlessly pursuing litigation on various fora simultaneously.

Mr. Salve had said Reliance had taken over most of Future’s retail stores because of unpaid rent amounting to ₹4,800 crore.

“We are hanging by a thread. No one wants to do business with us,” he had submitted.

Earlier, in March, both companies had informed the apex court that talks between them to reach an amicable settlement had failed. The Hindu

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