Consequences of delaying the Future-Reliance deal will be “far greater”, says Future Retail, Retail News, ET Retail

New Delhi: Future Retail on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the consequences of putting on hold the deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance Retail will be “far greater”.

“The ad-interim order passed by the single bench, the consequences are far greater. … If this gets delayed then the time will be lost,” said senior advocate Harish Salve on behalf of Future Retail.

The court was hearing Future Retail’s plea against its single judge order directing the company to maintain status quo on its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail, which has been objected to by US-based e-commerce giant Amazon.

He also argued that an Indian court cannot tell parties not to rely on an order passed by statutory bodies like SEBI and CCI.

“How can an Indian court say that party not to rely on CCI or Sebi order, which is statutory authorities,” he said.

Senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium appearing on behalf of the American behemoth said that it is interested in salvaging Futur Retail.
In August last year, Future had reached an agreement to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to Reliance.

Amazon has approached the high court seeking direction to order enforcement of the award by Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) restraining FRL from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.

It has sought to restrain Kishore Biyani-led Future Group from taking any steps to complete the transaction with entities that are a part of the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (MDA) Group.

The high court, which heard the matter for four consecutive days, reserved its order on Tuesday on the main petition and also directed all other concerned authorities to maintain status quo in relation to the matters which are in violation of the emergency award and to file status report with regard to the present status within 10 days.

While pronouncing the interim order, the high court said it was of the prima facie view that the emergency arbitrator is an arbitrator and he has rightly proceeded against FRL and its order was not in nullity.

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