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Future Vs Amazon: Delhi High Court stays International arbitration proceedings

The Delhi High Court, on January 5, stayed the arbitration proceedings in Singapore that passed the judgement in favour of Amazon in its legal battle with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.

The development comes a day after a single judge bench of the Delhi high court had dismissed Future Group’s plea seeking dismissal of the proceedings in Singapore. The matter was being heard by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Wednesday.

“We requested the single bench to declare the arbitral proceedings to be having no legal effect… The learned single-judge here did not appreciate the importance of order in my favour,” Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of Future Group was quoted as saying by Bar & Bench.

The Kishore Biyani-led company had approached the Delhi High Court after a favourable verdict from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that revoked its approval given to Amazon’s purchase of 49% stake in Future Coupon (a subsidiary of Future Group) back in 2019.

This deal became grounds for Amazon’s arbitration with the Future Group.

After its deal with Future Coupon, Amazon got 3% stake in Future Retail. Amazon’s contention is that its agreement with Future Group had clearly mentioned that Future Group cannot sell its retail assets, or engage in any business with 11 companies, including Reliance.

Yet Future Group decided to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries for ₹ 24,715 crore without informing the ecommerce giant. The Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) considered the Future Reliance deal to be invalid on these grounds.

“Much has been argued by both side [sic] including on the maintainability. We will deal with all these issued [sic] on the returnable date. Meanwhile we stay the proceedings of arbitral tribunal till next date of hearing. We also stay the order of single-judge,” the recent order read. Business Insider

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