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Supreme Court Defers Hearing Amazon-Future Group Case To January 11

The Supreme Court was unhappy with the content and timing of submissions made by both Amazon and Future Group. It stated that there was no connectivity in the submissions.

Supreme Court Defers Hearing Amazon-Future Group Case To January 11
Supreme Court Defers Hearing Amazon-Future Group Case To January 11 -

The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred hearing the Amazon-Future case to January 11. The apex court expressed its displeasure over the timing and content of documents submitted before it by both parties. The hearing concerns a Future Group plea against a Delhi High Court order declining stay on an arbitration tribunal decision refusing to interfere with the Emergency Award (EA) of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

The bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana along with Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli had earlier sought small written submissions from the two parties in place of "truckload" of bulky documents. Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the written notes submitted by the Future Group. “Purpose of our last direction was that you circulate the written note well in advance so that we can read them earlier. I got this from FRL at 10 pm... Today morning, we received it from another party,” the bench said. Additionally, the bench pointed out that there was no connectivity with the submissions. 

Senior Advocate Harish Salve who was appearing for the Future Group suggested that he dictate a note himself on Wednesday, which would be further submitted by evening and taken up tomorrow. The bench then said that if there was no urgency then the matter will be listed for hearing on January 11. The parties agreed to it.

 The apex court was hearing a fresh petition of Future Group against the Delhi High Court’s recent order declining its plea for stay on an arbitration tribunal decision refusing to interfere with the SIAC's EA which restrained it from going ahead with the Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail. The SIAC, in the EA, had granted relief to US e-commerce major Amazon by restraining the Future from going ahead with the Rs 24,731 crore merger deal of  Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail.

In October, Future Retail had moved the Delhi High Court seeking relief against an October 21 order of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which rejected the company's plea to lift the stay on the company's Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail. It held that Future Retail was a party to the ongoing arbitration dispute between Amazon and Future Group pertaining to the sale of its assets to Reliance Retail.

The stay was seen as a huge respite to the e-commerce platform Amazon. 

The three-party battle predates to August 2020 when Reliance Retail announced its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Future Group to acquire its retail and wholesale business along with logistics and warehousing business. Amazon opposed the deal which is an investor in Future Coupons Private Limited was also a shareholder in Future Retail.

The e-commerce platform had agreed to purchase a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, an unlisted company of the Future Group. 

Future Coupons hold a 7.3 per cent stake in Future Retail via convertible warrants and holds the right to acquire the company after three to ten years. 

(With inputs from Outlook Business)

Rating agency Fitch Ratings has slashed India's economic growth forecast to 8.4 per cent for the current fiscal year while raising the country’s GDP growth forecast for the next financial year to 10.3 per cent.  It had earlier forecasted a GDP growth of 8.7 per cent for the current financial year and 10 per cent in the FY 2023.
"We have cut our FY22 (financial year ending March 2022) GDP growth forecast to 8.4 per cent (-0.3 pp). GDP growth momentum should peak in FY23, at 10.3 per cent (+0.2 pp), boosted by a consumer-led recovery and the easing of supply disruptions," Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook The older forecast had come on the back of an observed "resilience in the Indian economy" facilitated by a swift cyclical recovery after the lethal second wave of Covid-19 in the second quarter of this financial year. 
In a separate development on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank Of India retained its GDP growth forecast for the current financial year at 9.5 per cent. Additionally, it reaffirmed its projections for the third quarter at 6.6 per cent and 6.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of the current financial year. 
Real GDP growth is estimated to be 17.2 per cent in the first quarter of the next financial year and 7.8 per cent in the second quarter.
"...notwithstanding some recent corrections, headwinds continue to be posed by elevated international energy and commodity prices, potential volatility in global financial markets due to a faster normalisation of monetary policy in advanced economies, and prolonged global supply bottlenecks," RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das stated on Wednesday while reading the Monetary Policy Statement.

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