In a major development in the ongoing legal battle between Future Retail and Amazon, the counsel for the latter in the Supreme Court proposed a dialogue to end the legal battles.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing Amazon, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that the “whirlpool” of litigation was being dragged for too long and proposed talks with Future Retail and Future Coupons to end the logjam as the business houses are embroiled in legal battles at various forums.
After Amazon’s proposal to begin talks with Future Retail, Reliance to resolve the legal dispute, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Future Retail, said” “Amazon gods will have to come down to talk to us mortals.”
Subramanium said: “We’ve always believed there can be other resolutions to a matter… Let us put our heads together.”
The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, said it was a good sign if the parties involved in the matter are willing to amicably settle the dispute.
The bench said, “We feel you want dialogue instead of all these proceedings.”
Salve said if Amazon wants to have a conversation, what is preventing its boss from calling up Biyanis (Future Group Chairman Kishore Biyani)? Salve emphasized that in this legal battle nobody is winning.
The Chief Justice said: “It is better to resolve this amicably.” Salve added that in this legal dispute three large business houses are involved and they can sit together and have a conversation.
Justice Bopanna said, “instead of saying they should pick up the phone and call, why don’t you facilitate that to happen?”
Salve said he has no issues with it.
The bench, pointing at Amazon’s counsel submissions, said the counsel has not said mediation, but it understands that it is ready for mediation. Salve said the top court can hear the matter in three weeks.
After a detailed hearing in the matter, the bench noted that the proceedings are going on before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), in connection with Amazon’s challenge to the Competition Commission of India order, and the Delhi High Court.
The bench asked the courts to withhold from pronouncing the order in the matter, in the meanwhile, which would allow the parties to have a dialogue.
Concluding the hearing, the bench said it is simply adjourning the matter for 10 days and not saying anything on record.
“If you can find out some solution, tell us, or we will hear and pass orders,” it added.
The top court has listed the matter for further hearing on March 15.
The top court was hearing Amazon’s challenge against Delhi High Court’s order to stay further arbitration proceedings with the Future Group before the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal.