United States-based e-commerce company Amazon on Wednesday filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking to quash an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into its deal with Indian conglomerate Future Group, the Economic Times reported.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating if Amazon violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act while investing in Future Coupons, a promoter company of the Future Group.
The e-commerce company has contended that the agency was conducting a “fishing and roving inquiry” against it. A fishing and roving inquiry refers to asking questions that are not related to the matter under scanner.
The company has also alleged that the agency sought information of confidential legal advice given to it, and other information not related to the deal with the Future Group, Reuters reported.
Amazon contended that the Enforcement Directorate was violating the principles of the Constitution by asking for “legally privileged documents and litigation privilege information”.
The e-commerce giant added that the agency has summoned several of its office-bearers, including its India head, in recent weeks, which led to “unnecessary harassment.”
The case is likely to be heard on Thursday.
In August 2019, Amazon had agreed to buy a 49% stake in Future Coupons, which in turn owns a 7.3% stake in listed company Future Retail.
However, on December 17, the Competition Commission of India suspended the deal owing to allegations that Amazon had concealed information while seeking approval for it from the country’s statutory antitrust watchdog.
The regulator also fined Amazon Rs 200 crore for allegedly concealing the actual scope of the deal, and making “false and incorrect statements” while applying for approvals.
Amazon and the Future Group are also engaged in a dispute in the Delhi High Court, in which the US-based company has challenged Future’s Group’s Rs 24,713-crore deal with Reliance Retail. Under the agreement, Future Group will sell its wholesale, logistics, retail and warehouse businesses to industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s firm.
Amazon argued that according to its deal with the Future Group, the latter conglomerate cannot sell its retail assets to a list of companies, including Reliance.