SC rules in Amazon’s favour; holds Singapore EA award

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday ruled in favour of US-based e-commerce giant Amazon by holding that Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore merger deal of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail, was valid and enforceable under Indian laws.
A bench of Justices R F Nariman also dealt with the larger question and as a proposition of law, held that an award of an EA of a foreign country is enforceable under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
FRL had argued that an EA is not an arbitrator under the Indian law as the term does not find any mention in the statute here.
The EA Order is an order within section 17 (1) and can be enforced under Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, it said.
Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Nariman said the top court has agreed with the findings of the single-judge of the Delhi High Court which had found the EA award in favour of the US firm to be enforceable in India. NV Investment Holdings LLC and FRL are embroiled in a bitter legal fight over the deal and the US-based firm has sought in the apex court that the EA award was valid and enforceable.
While the two companies did not immediately comment on the judgment, a legal expert who did not wish to be named, said that Future Retail is expected to file a review plea against the order and an appeal under section 37 (20) of the Arbitration Act against the EA’s interim award before the Delhi High Court to obtain appropriate relief to pursue its deal with Reliance.

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