In setback to Amazon, Delhi HC stays status quo on Future-Reliance deal - The Daily Guardian
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In setback to Amazon, Delhi HC stays status quo on Future-Reliance deal

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New Delhi [India], February 9 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed single judge bench order which had directed Future Retail Limited (FRL) to maintain the status quo with respect to its deal with Reliance and issued notice to Amazon on Future Retail Ltd plea. The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 26, and issued notice to respondents including Amazon.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh order came after hearing the appeal filed by FRL.
The court said that as far as the maintainability of the appeal filed by FRL is concerned, the prima facie view that the appeal is maintainable as the impugned order has been passed on a petition filed by Amazon and the applicant’s appeal were filed under different orders.
High Court bench said that after having heard Senior Counsels for the parties, “it is satisfied that the appellant FRL has made a prima facie case for grant of interim relief and the balance of convenience also lies in favour of the appellant.”
“We hereby stay the operation, implementation and execution of the impugned order dated February 2, passed by the learned Single Judge, till the next date of hearing,” it stated.
The court also observed that the appellant FRL is not a party to the agreement between Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) and that in an agreement between Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL) and FRL, Amazon is not a party.
“Prima facie all the three agreements, as stated hereinabove, are different and therefore, ‘Group of Companies Doctrine’ cannot be invoked,” said the court.
The court also noted that a reading of the clause evidences that Amazon has no intent to exercise control over FRL and thus, prima facie there was no reason to seek a status quo order before the Single Judge.
The court also made it clear that statutory authorities, like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) should not be restrained from proceeding in accordance with the law.
The court also made it clear that the observations made in this order are only a prima facie view for the purpose of grant of interim relief and shall not come in the way of the Single Judge in passing the final order.
The single judge was hearing Amazon’s plea where the petitioner has submitted that the respondents including FCPL have deliberately and willfully violated and are continuing further with the violation of the order dated October 25, 2020, of the Emergency Arbitrator. The petitioner has sought an immediate interim order to protect its rights till the pronouncement of the reserved order.
To which, the single-judge bench had said that the High Court was satisfied that immediate orders were necessary to protect the rights of the petitioner till the pronouncement of the reserved order.
“In that view of the matter, the respondents are directed to maintain status-quo… till the pronouncement of the reserved order,” it had said.
The respondents are objecting to the enforcement of the order dated October 25, 2020, passed by the Emergency Arbitrator on various grounds, including that the “Emergency Arbitrator is not an Arbitrator/ Arbitral Tribunal, and the order dated October 25, 2020, is not an order under Section 17(1) and is not enforceable under Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, as the respondent is not a party to the arbitration agreement and the order dated October 25, 2020, is a nullity.”
The Future Group announced the sale of its retail and wholesale business to Reliance Retail in a Rs 24,713 crore deal on August 29 last year.
It announced plans to merge key group companies, including Future Retail, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Consumer, Future Supply Chains and Future Market Networks into FEL.
Amazon had argued that a 2019 pact it signed with Future prevented the Indian company from selling its retail assets to certain parties. Amazon had taken Future Retail into an emergency arbitration over alleged violation of the contract. (ANI)

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COVID-19 vaccination coverage in India crosses 2.3 crores

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination has crossed 2.3 crores coverage, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
The ministry said more than 2 million vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
According to health ministry data, as on Day-52 of the vaccination drive, 20,19,723 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 17,15,380 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 28,884 sessions for the first dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 3,04,343 healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) received a second dose of vaccine.
“These include 70,75,010 HCWs (1st dose), 37,39,478 HCWs (2nd dose), 67,92,319FLWs (1st dose) and 3,25,972 FLWs (2nd Dose), 7,01,809 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 43,74,145 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years,” the health ministry said.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka continue to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases and they cumulatively account for 84.04 per cent of the new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, 15,388 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours whereas Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 8,744. It is followed by Kerala with 1,412 while Punjab reported 1,229 new cases.
The ministry further informed that the eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.
“India’s total active caseload has reached 1,87,462 today. India’s present active caseload now stands at 1.67 per cent of India’s total positive cases,” it said.
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura did not report any new COVID-19 cases, while Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala had reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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Kolkata: One more arrested in Pamela Goswami drugs case

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 9 (ANI): Priyanka Singh, alias Sweety, has been arrested in connection with the drugs case in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha leader Pamela Goswami was arrested in Kolkata earlier in February, the Kolkata Police informed on Tuesday.
“One Priyanka Singh (alias Sweety) was arrested yesterday in connection with New Alipore PS drug case (Pamela matter). She was engaged by Rakesh Singh to procure Cocaine from drug peddlers. She purchased cocaine Rs 9,500 per gram and handed it over to Rakesh Singh. She will be produced in court today,” a statement from the Police said.
This is the fifth arrest in the case.
On February 24, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Rakesh Singh had been produced before Alipore Court in connection with the narcotics case.
Kolkata Police had arrested both his sons from his residence “following their links with Goswami”.
On February 20, BJP Yuva Morcha leaders Pamela Goswami and Prabir De had been arrested with 100 grams of cocaine from New Alipore in Kolkata.
A person named Somnath Chatterjee (26) had also been arrested in connection with the seizure of about 90 grams of narcotic substance (suspected cocaine) in Kolkata. (ANI)

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Vigilance submits final report in bar bribery case against K Babu

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 9 (ANI): The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) has submitted a final report in the bar bribery case against former minister and Congress leader K Babu in the Vigilance court here.
The VACB sought the cancellation of further action into the case claiming the absence of evidence to prove the charges against Babu.
The report was submitted by the Vigilance Central Range Superintendent.
The case pertains to Babu’s involvement in the corruption of Rs 100 crore over issuing of new bar licenses and closure of liquor outlets close to bars.
Vigilance booked K Babu over the complaint of Kerala Hotel Industrial Association president and Palakkad native VM Radhakrishnan.
“Babu took action to immediately issue license to some bars while keeping some applications pending. He also took a decision to favour the interests of Kerala Bar Hotel Association owners. He misused his powers to shut down the liquor outlets situated close to the bars of his friends and benamis. Crores of rupees were collected annually to renew the bar license through the Kerala Bar hotel association. He also issued an order restricting the issuance of bar license without his consent,” the complaint said.
The probe was initiated in 2016 after Baby was accused of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income when he was the Excise Minister in the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala.
He has been accused of taking bribes during the controversial closure of bars in the state and was forced to resign from his post due to the strictures passed against him by the Kerala High Court. (ANI)

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SC dismisses PIL challenging Election Commission’s decision regarding WB polls

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the PIL filed by an advocate, Manohar Lal Sharma, challenging the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision regarding the West Bengal Assembly polls.
A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the petition filed by petitioner-cum-lawyer, Sharma.
The Supreme Court also dismissed the petition of Sharma, who sought a CBI probe into the alleged use of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as a rallying slogan in the poll run-up.
Sharma stated that the EC had said that the election in West Bengal will be held in eight phases. The petitioner demanded a stay on the order of the EC.
Sharma in his plea has said that the order of the EC violated article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Sharma also has said that the CBI should lodge an FIR against those who had allegedly chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’. (ANI)

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Delhi budget: Rs 50 crores allocated for free COVID-19 vaccines

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Delhi government has allocated Rs 50 crores in this year’s budget to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to the people of the national capital.
“COVID-19 vaccines will be available free of cost for people of Delhi in government hospitals in the union territory. We have allotted Rs 50 crores in the budget for the same,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while presenting Delhi’s first paperless budget on Monday in the Delhi Assembly.
He also said that the number of COVID-19 vaccinations will soon be increased from 45,000 to 60,000 per day.
Sisodia also announced that Delhi will have its first Sainik School alongside Delhi Armed Forces Preparatory Academy where students will be acquainted with the NDA coaching besides regular studies.
“Today I present this ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ in view of the Centre’s celebrations of India’s 75 years of independence. This budget will focus on India’s 75 as well as 100 years of independence,” said Sisodia while presenting the budget.
The budget session of the Delhi assembly is scheduled to continue till March 16.
The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out in the country on January 16 and vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2. The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination started on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. (ANI)

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Parliament adjourned till 2 pm after uproar by Opposition over fuel prices

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till 2 pm on Tuesday following continued ruckus by the Opposition over the rise of fuel prices.
Earlier today, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till 12 noon following constant disturbance by the Opposition over the rising fuel prices in the country.
While commencing the Rajya Sabha session, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh said: “During the remaining part of the Budget session, members will be seated in Rajya Sabha chambers and its gallery only, with some physical distancing. 142 seats have been made available in Rajya Sabha chamber and remaining members to sit in the gallery.”
The decision to revise the timing of both Houses was announced on Monday. Both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were operating under curtailed hours of timing and social distancing norms amid COVID-19 induced norms.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha was scheduled to function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha was scheduled to function between 4 pm to 10 pm.
The second part of the Budget session of Parliament commenced from Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place. (ANI)

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