HC restrains Future Retail from going ahead with Reliance deal


In a big win for Amazon, the Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained Future Retail from going ahead with the Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance on a petition filed by the Jeff Bezos-led company.

The Future Group has been embroiled in a legal battle with Amazon since January, when the latter moved the Delhi High Court challenging Future Group’s assets sale to Reliance Industries Limited.

The court was approached on the ground that the assets sale violated a contract that Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani had entered into with Amazon.

It had alleged that Biyani and other promoters and directors of the company were “deliberately and maliciously” disobeying the Emergency Award in spite of their participation in the arbitration proceedings.

In the order on Thursday, Justice J.R. Midha rejected Future Group’s argument that Emergency Award is a nulity and imposed a cost of Rs 20 lakh on it, which is to be deposited with the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The court held that Future Retail, Future Coupons, Biyani and others “violated” the award. A showcause notice has been issued to Biyani and others on why they should not be detained in civil prison.

The judge directed Future Group to not take any further action in furtherance of the deal with Reliance.

Notably, Biyani and others have been asked to be present before the court on April 28. The court also directed attachment of Biyani’s assets. The Future Group has been asked to record all the actions taken by it in connection with the Reliance deal.

On February 8, the Delhi High Court had stayed the implementation of status quo ordered by a single-judge bench on the deal between Future Retail Ltd and Reliance, which has been challenged by the e-commerce company.