Approach HC to go ahead with NCLT proceedings: SC to FRL

Published on Feb 16, 2022 06:46 AM IST

“We grant liberty to FRL (Future Retail Ltd) to approach the High Court by filing an application seeking continuation of the NCLT proceedings beyond the 8th stage (Meeting of Shareholders and creditors),” directed a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

The top court refrained from examining the rival contentions of Future and Amazon on the aspect of NCLT proceedings, and remanded the matter for adjudication by the high court.
The top court refrained from examining the rival contentions of Future and Amazon on the aspect of NCLT proceedings, and remanded the matter for adjudication by the high court.
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Future Group to approach the Delhi high court with its plea seeking continuation of proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to get final approval for the proposed $3.4 billion sale of its retail assets to Reliance.

“We grant liberty to FRL (Future Retail Ltd) to approach the High Court by filing an application seeking continuation of the NCLT proceedings beyond the 8th stage (Meeting of Shareholders and creditors),” directed a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

The bench, which included justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli, added: “We request the learned single judge of the Delhi High Court to consider all the contentions raised by both the parties (Future and Amazon) in this regard and pass appropriate order as to continuation of the NCLT proceedings beyond the stage mentioned at serial no.8 and other regulatory approvals expeditiously, uninfluenced by any observations made herein.”

The top court refrained from examining the rival contentions of Future and Amazon on the aspect of NCLT proceedings, and remanded the matter for adjudication by the high court, which is also seized of issues relating to enforcement of a 2020 order by an arbitral tribunal restraining Future from alienating its assets.

Before the Supreme Court, Future claimed that the NCLT proceedings for grant of final approval of the proposed scheme ought to continue as after the final order, it would take six to eight months to complete all the steps as required under the Companies Act, 2013.

Opposing this plea, Amazon contended that Future has carried out all proceedings before NCLT in contravention of the order of the arbitral tribunal as well as the interim orders passed by the Delhi high court.

The bench, however, left these arguments to be examined by the single judge.

Future’s proposed $3.4 billion sale of retail assets to Reliance was challenged by Amazon, which initiated arbitration proceedings, citing its 2019 deal with Future and violation of certain non-compete contractual terms in it.

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