amazon: SIAC rejects Future Group plea to terminate arbitration proceedings

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Mumbai: The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) said it will continue with the arbitration proceedings between Future Group and Amazon, rejecting a plea by Kishore Biyani’s retail firm to terminate the proceedings.
(FRL) had filed a petition with SIAC, citing a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order that stayed its transaction with Amazon. It also argued that since insolvency proceedings have been initiated against the company, legal proceedings should be paused.

However, SIAC observed that Section 7 IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) application has not rendered the continuation of arbitration proceedings impossible or unnecessary.



“The tribunal finds that the continuation of these proceedings has not been rendered unnecessary or impossible,” SIAC said in its order dismissing termination application. “Accordingly, there is no ground for the termination of these proceedings under Section 32 of the Arbitration Act. It is unnecessary for the tribunal to make any finding with respect to Amazon’s contention that the termination applications ought to be rejected on account of respondents’ contumacious conduct.”

Four months ago,

() had called off a deal to purchase Future Group’s assets following the rejection of the proposal by a majority of secured lenders.

“The most important consideration for continuing the arbitration proceedings is that Amazon’s claims before the tribunal are not solely based on the transaction but they are also related to breach of contract which is not a part of the transaction,” said Ashish K Singh, managing partner of law firm Capstone Legal.

Reliance’s Rs 24,713-crore acquisition plan was announced in 2020 but Amazon used its 2019 agreement with Future Group promoter companies to oppose the deal which led to a protracted legal battle in the Supreme Court as well as an arbitration tribunal in Singapore.

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