Ratan Tata accuses Mistry of creating a ‘smokescreen of oppression, mismanagement’

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on August 04, 2020 Published on August 04, 2020

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing in India’s biggest corporate battle, Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan N Tata has filed another rejoinder petition accusing Cyrus Mistry of creating a “smokescreen of oppression and mismanagement”.

The case by Tata Sons’ ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry is essentially about the personal grievance of a chief executive of a company for the loss of office, a petition, filed on behalf of Ratan Tata before the apex court on Tuesday, said.

“And to sustain this premise, which Cyrus Mistry knows is otherwise legally untenable; he has resorted to ad hominem arguments,” the petition, filed on behalf of Ratan Tata before the Supreme Court, said. Mistry was appointed executive chairman of Tata Sons by the company’s board in 2012, and four years later, in 2016, the same body decided in near unanimity, to replace him from that position, the petition said.

It was filed in response to the Affidavit-in-Reply filed by Mistry dated June 27, 2020. The apex court is set to hear the case this month.

According to the Tata affidavit, Mistry had initially refused to step down and then a resolution had to be brought in before the board. The resolution was carried through in “near unanimity”, it said, adding at this stage Mistry was not removed as a director.

“From the welter of allegations and counter-allegations that followed, Mistry’s conduct made it clear that he had become a Trojan horse and was not suited to continue as a collegial body as senior and as important as the board of Tata Sons,” it said. Mistry’s grievance that no reasons were recorded in the board minutes in support of the resolution is also “not true”, it added.

Referring to the decision being “sudden and hasty”, Tata, in its submission, said that there will be an element of suddenness in a decision of this nature. But to state that the decision was hasty is unjustified, it said, adding the decision was not a “pleasant one”.

Tata also said he has personally supported Mistry’s selection as his successor and had mentored him for a year, and it pains him considerably when motives are attributed and virulent attacks are made. Mistry terming “legacy hotspots” and “value-destroying” transactions is also a smokescreen he had created to hide the real grouse of why he was replaced, it added.

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Published on August 04, 2020
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