New Delhi: US online retailer Amazon has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court. The petition is seeking detention of Future Group founders, including CEO Kishore Biyani, and seizure of their assets. Amazon is trying to block Future Group from selling retail assets to Reliance Industries. In the petition, Amazon sought enforcement of the Singapore arbitrator’s ruling in October against its partner Future’s Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance.
Amazon sought the Biyani family to be directed to ‘disclose their assets, including movable and immovable property’ and the same be attached. Also, it sought ‘detention’ of Biyani, his daughter Ashni and seven other members of the founder family as well as three other officials including a company secretary of the Group.
Amazon wants the deal to sell retail assets to Reliance to be stopped. It also asked the court for a direction for ‘detention of the directors (of Future Group entities) in civil prison’.
Biyani had previously stated that he was forced to strike a deal with Reliance. This happened after Future Group sought help from Amazon to wriggle out of piling debt burden wasn’t forthcoming.
The petition by Amazon comes just days after the Future-RIL deal received the nod from market regulator SEBI and bourses.
In the petition, Amazon has said the interim injunctions granted by the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) are enforceable under the Indian laws under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act as the order is deemed to be an order of the Court and is enforceable under the Code of Civil Procedure.
Amazon has prayed that the Court issue ‘an injunction against the Respondents (Future group), in light of the directions passed by the EA, from relying upon any approval granted by any regulatory body or agency in India arising out of any application initiated or pursued by the Respondents, contrary to the directions in the Order, including without limitation, the no objection granted by the SEBI and as also approvals granted by the BSE, NSE and CCI’.
The interim ruling by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which was valid till January 23, now stands extended till further modification.
“… in view of the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal, the Order stands automatically extended for the duration of the Arbitration Proceedings unless it is reconsidered/ modified/vacated by the Arbitral Tribunal,” the petition said.
Amazon pointed out that since no application for reconsideration/ modification/ vacation of the order has been preferred till date by any party, the order stands automatically extended. However, Amazon declined to make any official comment.
Future Retail, in a regulatory filing, said it would defend the matter through its legal counsels. “We would like to inform that the Company is in receipt of communication dated 25th January 2021 from lawyers of Amazon.Com NV Investment Holdings LLC informing that Amazon has filed a petition under Section 17(2) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before High Court of Delhi. We shall defend the matter / proceedings through our legal counsels and keep you informed about outcome of the same,” said Future Retail.