The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed its discontent with the Future Group for attempting to defeat its order and intending to stall the proceedings before the Singapore arbitral tribunal in connection with its dispute with Amazon.
Expressing concern, a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, representing the Future Group, that the intention of his client is to defeat the arbitration, and that it is stultifying the order of this court.
"All ploys by well-heeled parties to delay the arbitration proceeding. Your client is trying to be too clever by half," it said.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, representing Amazon, contended that Future Group is trying to stall the arbitral proceedings and added that the tribunal is going for the final hearing on November 28.
The bench, also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and J.B. Pardiwala, said it will not let the arbitration process be stultified and the matter will be listed next Friday.
Subramaniam said the Future Group has filed a petition before the Delhi High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution challenging the decision of the tribunal not to terminate the arbitration proceedings and emphasised that the arbitration proceedings should in no way be postponed.
Viswanathan contended that the order in the petitions filed by them, including on the issue of maintainability of the arbitration proceedings has been reserved by the high court. He further added that claim by Amazon has been amended in such a way that it altered the proceedings character and suggested if the apex court can ask the high court to pronounce the orders and accordingly the arbitration can proceed or be terminated.
The bench said it is not inclined to pass the order, saying: "We will not pressurise the judge and say you have to render order." It added that arbitration cannot go on if the high court holds it is not maintainable, but if they fail before the high court, then you go to the tribunal.