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Supreme Court reserves verdict on Amazon’s pleas against FRL-Reliance deal

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New Delhi, July 29

The Supreme Court today reserved verdict on Amazon’s pleas against the merger of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail and would rule whether Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) award, restraining the Rs 24,731-crore deal, was valid under Indian law and can be enforced.

Amazon and FRL are embroiled in a legal fight over the deal and the US-based firm has sought in the apex court that the EA award was valid and enforceable.

“So we close the case now. The judgment is reserved,” a Bench of justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said after senior advocates Harish Salve and Gopal Subramanium, appearing for FRL and Amazon respectively, concluded their submissions.

“We will decide whether EA award falls under Section 17 (1) (which deals with interim award by arbitral tribunal) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. And if yes, then whether it can be enforced under Section 17 (2) (of the Act),” the Bench said.

The provisions of the Act deal with the interim measures ordered by an arbitral tribunal and Section 17 (1) says: “Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal may, at the request of a party, order a party to take any interim measure of protection as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary in respect of the subject-matter of the dispute.” Section 17 (2) provides that the arbitral tribunal may require a party to provide appropriate security in connection with an interim measure ordered.

Salve referred to judgments on validity and the enforceability of arbitral awards and said there was no notion of EA under the Indian law on arbitration and conciliation and, in any case, there was no arbitration agreement to this effect.

There was no provision for EA under the Indian Law and “it can’t be done by the process of construction”, Salve said referring to the order of the Delhi High Court which had held the award of the EA to be valid. — PTI

Rs24,731-crore deal

Amazon and Future Retail are embroiled in a battle over the latter’s Rs24,731-cr deal with Reliance and the US-based firm has sought in the apex court that Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator award was valid and enforceable
The top court, which had earlier asked the National Company Law Tribunal not to pass the final order related to regulatory approvals for the FRL-RRL amalgamation, commenced hearing the final arguments on July 20

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