On Tuesday, while talking to the Supreme Court, Amazon expressed how Future Group is intentionally ignoring the order of Singapore’s emergency arbitrator’s (EA). According to this order, Future Group is restricted to take its deal forward with Reliance Retail for a certain period of time.
In his opening argument, Amazon’s advocate Gopal Subramanium told the bench led by Justice RF Nariman that the concept of EA is not prohibited by any Arbitration and Conciliation Act’s provision. The venue of arbitration is chosen after the consent of all the parties, and they are required to abide by the EA’s order.
He added that the current international arbitration practice allows the same status of an arbitrator to an emergency arbitrator, and the arbitral tribunal. If the parties chose the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), then they should abide by all its provisions, including the EA one.
According to the SIAC Rule 12, Schedule I, it is mandatory for the parties to take immediate action to comply with the order passed by an EA.
It was back in October 2020, when an Emergency Arbitrator of Singapore in order restricted the deal between the Future Group and Reliance Retail to go ahead.
The origin of tension between Future Group and Amazon is the `24,713-crore deal between Reliance Industries and Future Group, against which Amazon filed a plea in SIAC.
Since the proceedings of the issue were taking place in the supreme court and the Delhi High Court simultaneously, so the SC put a stay on all proceedings undertaken by the DHC related to the matter.
Mr. Subramanium said that on August 22, 2019, Amazon signed a share subscription agreement (SSA) of 1,431 crores with Future Coupons Pvt Ltd FCPL. According to this agreement, it is necessary for Future Retail Limited (FRL) to take the consent of FCPL and Amazon, before transferring its retail assets.
Along with that, the FCPL, and FRL shareholders’ agreement, restricted some persons including the chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani from receiving or buying these retail assets from FRL.
The hearing on the matter is scheduled for 22 July.