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'21 volumes in same case', bulky documents delay Future-Amazon hearing in SC

 
New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) The Chief Justice N.V. Ramana on Tuesday pointed to the parties in the Future-Amazon case that they have filed bulky documents in the matter -- 21 volumes in the same case -- and it causes unnecessary inconvenience, as documents are repeated. The top court has scheduled the next hearing in the matter on December 8.

The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli asked both sides in the matter to sit with each other and file a convenience compilation with a minimum number of pages.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice told a counsel, "This is the problem if you file 21 volumes in the same case. I have been repeatedly saying. Unnecessary things...repetition of documents..."

As senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Future Retail, sought the bench's permission to make submissions in the matter. The Chief Justice orally reiterated 'what is the point in filing so many volumes?' He added, "Is it only to harass judges, what's the point?" Salve replied it is completely unnecessary.

The Chief Justice said: "We'll do one thing. We'll give you some time, can you file a convenience compilation? Salve replied that in this kind of matter, there should have been a compilation. The bench directed the parties to file a compilation with a minimum number of documents.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the parties will interact with each other and submit a small compilation.

After hearing arguments, the bench said all parties agree to exchange documents and file one common compilation. "Matter to be taken up on December 8. Documents to be fully indexed", said the bench.

On November 11, the Supreme Court had asked the Future Group to not proceed with a proposed Rs 24,731 sale of its retail assets to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) till the next date of hearing on November 23.

The top court said: "We cannot allow you to do anything in the meantime. We are very clear on it. Where is the question of your filing suits and SLPs (special leave petitions)...We hope you don't proceed". The bench told the Future counsel, "If meetings, etc., go on, nothing remains. On the other hand, you can buy your own sweet time and go on filing appeals, suits, etc.,..."

On September 9, the Supreme Court had stayed all proceedings before the Delhi High Court on Amazon's petition seeking enforcement of Singapore emergency arbitrator's (EA) award, which restrained the Future Group from going ahead with its Rs 24,731 crore merger with Reliance Retail.

The top court had then said: "We think it fit to balance the interest of both the parties by staying all further proceedings before the Delhi High Court for the time being. Ordered accordingly. We further direct to all the authorities, i.e., NCLT, CCI and SEBI not to pass any final order for a period of four weeks from today. This order has been passed with the consent of both the parties."

--IANS
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