New Delhi Jul 27 (ILNS): The Supreme Court today started hearing the petition filed by Amazon against the Delhi High Court Division Bench order, which had stayed the order of the Single-Judge Bench, directing a status quo on the Future-Reliance deal.
The Bench comprising of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice BR Gavai started hearing the arguments today.
Earlier, a Division Bench of the High Court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, while passing the order, had observed that since Future Retail Limited (FRL) is not a party to Arbitration Agreement, prima facie, group of companies doctrine can’t be invoked. It further noted that in preliminary findings, there was no reason to seek a status quo order from the Single Judge.
“Statutory authorities like SEBI cannot be restrained from proceeding in accordance with the law,” the bench said. The division bench also stated that the observations made by it are only prima facie and the single judge shall not be influenced by it while passing its order.
The High Court had passed this order while hearing an appeal filed by Future against an order of the single judge directing it to maintain the status quo on its Rs 24,713-crore deal with Reliance that had been earlier objected by Amazon.
The appeal filed before the Supreme Court states that the High Court “failed to appreciate that orders made under the Act [Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996] are appealable only if there exists a provision under the Act specifically providing for a right to appeal”.
Since the single bench order was passed under Section 17(2) of the act, and there being no provision for appeal under the said section, no appeal would lie against the order. The petitioner further submitted “the High Court, while issuing the Interim Common Order, conveniently ignored the fact that Section 13(1) of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 merely provides the forum for filing appeals and does not confer an independent right of appeal. Further, it is the parameters of Section 37 of the Act alone which have to be looked at, in order to determine whether the appeal is maintainable or not.
The petitioner further argued that the High Court while passing the interim order failed to appreciate that the order was issued by the Single Judge of the High Court for the limited purpose of preserving the rights of the parties till the pronouncement of the final orders and after coming to the conclusion that the Respondents have violated the directions contained in the EA Order including on the basis of the Respondents’ own unequivocal submission that would not maintain status quo.
The appeal filed by Advocate Mohit Singh on behalf of Amazon sought a stay on the order of the Division Bench. /ILNS/SS/SNG