Delhi High Court stays single judge order against Future Group in Amazon plea

26 Mar 2021


The Delhi High has stayed the single judge order directing attachment of properties belonging to Future Group companies and its former promoter Kishore Biyani on a case filed by online retailer Amazon seeking enforcement of a Singapore arbitrator’s Emergency Award against the Future Group’s sae of retail business to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh stayed the single Judge order directing attachment of Future-Biyani properties and imposing 20 lakh costs.
The judgement given by Justice JR Midha, of the Delhi High Court, on 18 March 2021 said that Future Retail, Future Coupons, Kishore Biyani and others violated the Emergency Award, and also questioned ‘why should they not be detained in prison’. 
The court directed Future Group to approach authorities to recall all approvals granted to Future Retail-Reliance deal. It also directed attachement of Kishore Biyani’s and Future Groups assets to be attached as also slap Rs20 lakh penalty on the company, which is to be deposittd in the PM Relief Fund.
"We hereby stay the single judge order dated March 18, 2021 till next date of hearing."
The division bench stayed the order on a request made by counsel for Future, Senior Advocate Harish Salve.
The court had earlier also granted stay on an ad-interim order passé.d by the single judge, which was not stayed by the Supreme Court in appeal, Salve pointed out.
"There's a finding of breach. This has gone much beyond .. we were under the impression that the Single Judge would get reasons (for prima facie order...Supreme court in SLP has directed that all these (NCLT) hearings can go on... this Court's order has not been stayed. Single Judge's order has to be stayed."
Senior advocate Iqbal Chagla, for Future, also argued in favour of grant of a stay on the single judge order in view of the Supreme Court's hearing on 27 April.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam for Amazon, on the other hand, submitted that it was only right that the single judge's matter be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court for further directions.
"Since matter is presently before Surpreme Court... the matter is now listed on April 27. We will not do anything which is inconsistent with the Supreme Court order..Whatever order has been passed, it is implied that it is subject to Supreme Court order.", he argued.
Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar vehemently objected to the maintainability of the appeals.
After hearing the parties, the court decided to stay the single judge order.
The matter would be heard next on 30 April.

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