Delhi HC Allows Reliance To Buy Big Bazaar For Rs 27,000 Crore As Status Quo Order Lifted

Status Quo Lifted on an Order Between the Retail-Reliance Retail deal.
Status Quo Lifted on an Order Between the Retail-Reliance Retail deal.

A lot has been happening since over a year, between the Future Group and the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd.

On February 2, a single judge order passed by Justice JR Midha , put in place a status quo on the deal between Future Retail-Reliance Retail, thereby reserving the judgement on Amazon’s plea seeking enforcement.

Now, a two-judge bench in the Delhi High Court has lifted the status quo on the Rs 27,513-crore deal between the two parties.

Let’s learn more about this.

Two-Judge Bench Order

According to Bloomberg, the bench stayed the order passed on Feb 2 by Justice Midha, until the next date of hearing, i.e., Feb 26.

The order passed by the 2 judge bench, Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh states:

  • Future Retail Ltd. is not a party to the agreement between Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt.
  • Amazon is not a party in the agreement between Reliance Retail and Future Retail.
  • The “groups of companies doctrine” cannot be invoked, as the three agreements appear to be different.
  • In reference to the relevant agreement clause, the bench prima facie noted that Amazon has no intent to take control of Future Retail and thus there was no reason to seek a status quo order before the single judge.

Feb 2 Order by Justice Midha

Justice JR Midha directed a status quo on the deal between Future Retail-Reliance Retail passed on Feb 2.

“This court is satisfied that immediate orders are needed to protect the rights of the petitioner (Amazon) till the pronouncement for the reserved order. In that view of the matter, the respondents (Future Group) are directed to maintain status quo as on today at 4:49 p.m. till the pronouncement of the reserved order”, said the order.

However, Future Retail wasn’t happy with the order. Senior Advocate Harish Salve representing Future Retail questioned the requirement of status quo on the transaction and stated that the move would only waste time.

He argued that Amazon was trying to ensure that Reliance does not get the 1,500 stores of Future Retail and was not concerned about the impact it would have on the employees, stated the wired agency.

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