NEW DELHI: In a major setback to Future Group, the Delhi high court on Thursday restrained the company from going ahead with Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Industries.
The court has directed Future Retail not to take any further action the deal. It also held that the company willfully violated Singapore arbitrator’s order.
Future Group and its directors have also been asked to deposit Rs 20 lakh in PM relief fund for providing Covid-19 vaccine to senior citizens of BPL category.
Further, the HC has directed to attach properties of CEO Kishore Biyani and others related to Future Group.
Biyani, along with others, has been asked to appear in court on April 28.
The high court also asked them to show cause as to why they be not detained for 3 months under civil prison for violating emergency arbitrator’s order.
The high court’s order came on Amazon‘s plea seeking direction to order enforcement of the award by Singapore’s EA on October 25, 2020, restraining FRL from going ahead with its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.
The decision is a setback for Future, the country’s second-largest retailer with over 1,700 stores, which agreed to sell its retail businesses to market leader Reliance last year.
However, e-commerce giant Amazon, which had its sights set on ultimately owning part of the retail assets itself, argued a 2019 deal it had with a unit of Future contained clauses prohibiting Future Retail from selling them to anyone on a “restricted persons” list including Reliance.
Amazon had moved the Delhi HC in January to enforce the emergency award (EA) by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which had asked Future Group not to proceed with the RIL deal till it pronounces a final order.
Previously, Future too had approached the HC to stop Amazon from writing to regulators citing the SIAC order, but the court did not grant the injunction and said Amazon was free to write to regulators.
(With inputs from agencies)