Future Group and Amazon agreed on Thursday to engage in dialogues to explore the possibility of a amicable settlement on the former selling its retail assets to Reliance Retail. Amazon objected to the sale on the grounds that it has a right of first refusal on the retail assets under the 2019 agreement it entered into with the Kishore Biyani entity.
The Supreme Court, where lawyers for both sides have agreed to explore an out-of-court settlement, has given the parties until March 15 to see if they are able to resolve the dispute out of court. Future Group lawyers Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi assured the bench headed by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana that during this period there was no chance of an order being issued on the cases pending before the High Delhi Court, National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and National Company. Law Appeals Tribunal (NCLAT).
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The CJI welcomed the parties’ decision to engage in talks saying it is in the interests of all stakeholders and also offered to set a date or appoint someone for the three “giant companies” solve the problem.
“We’ll just adjourn the matter…Establish by the gentleman’s understanding. It will be better in the interests of three business cases… Amazon did not mention mediation, but is ready to discuss,” the CJI said, while observing that if the companies fail to find a solution, the option of the courts to decide the case was still open. .
the dispute between the Future Group and Amazon has been raging since October 25, 2020, when Singapore’s emergency arbitrator blocked Future Retail from moving forward with its Rs 24,500 crore deal with Reliance Retail. As the legal battle between the two parties is ongoing in the NCLT, NCLAT and Delhi High Court, apart from the Supreme Court, in recent days Reliance has taken over 200 Future stores. —EF