New Delhi: In order to restrict trade organizations like Confederation of All India Traders and Swadeshi Jagran Manch from attaining any interim order against Flipkart acquisition, Walmart has filed a caveat in multiple high courts across the country.
The US retailer has urged that no interim order should be given to trade organizations without it getting a chance to present its side. Notably, Walmart acquired the e-commerce marketplace Flipkart for $16 billion in May.
There were threats from both the trade organizations, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) that they would go to court to oppose the Flipkart-Walmart deal.
Law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co has filed the caveat on behalf of Walmart in high courts of Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Apart from this, a separate caveat has been filed against CAIT Research & Trade Development Society (CRTDS), the research wing of CAIT.
The caveat file in the Bombay High Court said, “Pray that no order be passed without due notice against the proposed respondent/caveator above named in any writ petition or application for adinterim or interim stay/relief as may be filed in this Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay wherein the proposed petitioner/caveatee herein may be the petitioner and the proposed respondent/caveator may be the respondent therein.”
Similar, requests have been made in other caveats too.
The buyout of Flipkart by Walmart, which is the biggest takeover till date and largest acquisition in the e-commerce space, was cleared by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on August 9. After this deal, the value of Flipkart went up to $20.8 billion.
Trade bodies such as CAIT, SJM and the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) said the deal is bound to circumvent established laws and foreign direct investment (FDI) policy of the government and hurt small trader. Describing the development as “most unfortunate”, CAIT had said it will approach the court against CCI’s decision.
CAIT also plans to launch a nationwide stir against FDI in retail and Walmart in particular. Praveen Khandelwal, General Secretary, CAIT said, “We will start a Rath Yatra which will cover 28 states, over 20,000 kms with participation from traders throughout the country to oppose FDI in retail and Walmart in particular.”
The protest will be backed by aggressive mass media campaign — including radio advertising – coupled with campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, to intensify the effect of the Rath Yatra. The traders’ association has also roped in popular music composer brother duo from Bollywood — Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant — to write an anthem for the campaign.