A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which had reserved its order on February 3, was irked over the alleged delayed request of the US-based e-commerce major to file the written note in the case and said that it appeared to be a “luxurious litigation”.
“You want to complicate the matters. It is fine. You want to drag on, continue these hearings… If I allow you, then I will have to allow them (FRL) also. I do not understand what this practice is. If that day (February 3) you would have asked then it would have been a different story,” said the CJI.
“It is just to assist the court,” the lawyer said.
The bench rejected the submissions saying that the argument seemed to be that the oral submissions have to be given in writing as well.
“It seems you think we don’t have the ability to understand the oral submissions. After reserving the order, now after five days you again started reopening… I think it’s better to not list these matters at all. It is a luxurious litigation it appears,” the CJI said.
The apex court on February 3 reserved its order on the plea of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) seeking to go ahead with the merger deal.
Besides this, a consortium of 27 banks had told the Supreme Court that the money lent to FRL belonged to the depositors and to safeguard the “public interest”, the entire assets of FRL can be subjected to open bids by Amazon and Reliance with a reserve price of Rs 17,000 crore.
FRL has filed a separate plea against the consortium seeking a direction that no coercive action be taken against it for a certain time period due to non-payment of debt.
Prior to this, the apex court, in a verdict on February 1, had set aside three Delhi High Court orders including attachment of properties of FRL and its directors and the refusal to grant a stay on the final arbitral award which had restrained FRL from going ahead with its Rs 24,731 crore merger deal with Reliance Retail and had ordered fresh adjudication.
Amazon and the Future group are engaged in legal battle for over a year as the US major is opposing the merger of FRL with Reliance Retail.