Companies

Mistry case: Ratan Tata moves Supreme Court in personal capacity

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 03, 2020 Published on January 03, 2020

A file photo of Ratan Tata

Says NCLAT’s finding that he acted in an oppressive and prejudicial manner was not based on facts; wants order set aside

In a move that further deepens India’s biggest corporate feud, Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan N Tata has moved the Supreme Court seeking to set aside an appellate tribunal order that found him guilty of taking prejudicial and oppressive steps.

Also read: Cyrus Mistry unlikely to stake a claim to Tata Sons’ chairman’s post

The petition has been filed a day after Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group firms, moved the apex court seeking a stay on the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s judgement that reinstated Cryus Mistry as chairman.

In a civil appeal, filed in a personal capacity, Ratan Tata, states that the “judgment starts on a wrong premise. It treats Tata Sons as a two-group company”.

Also read: Tata Sons moves SC against Mistry’s reinstatement

Tata also stated that Mistry’s appointment as Tata Sons’ executive chairman was purely in a professional capacity, while his removal was after the relationship between Mistry and Tata Trusts had become “discordant”. Further, it was “strongly felt” by the Tata Trusts that Mistry could not provide robust leadership to Tata Sons in future, according to the appeal, a copy of which was reviewed by BusinessLine, said.

Also read: RoC Mumbai moves for amendment to NCLAT order in Tata-Mistry case

Mistry also brought disrepute to the Tata group in the way he handled the DoCoMo litigation. Mistry’s reluctance to disassociate from his family business after he became Tata Sons’ chairman, a pre-condition to his appointment was another reason, it added.

Also read: NCLAT puts Cyrus Mistry back on Tata Sons saddle; company can appeal

“Slowly and systematically, he had also concentrated power and authority in his own hands as chairman in all major Tata operating companies, where there were no longer any representatives from the board of the company.”

Further, the appellate tribunal in its judgement “holds the appellant (Ratan Tata) guilty of having taken oppressive and prejudicial steps against the interest of the shareholders of Tata Sons”, it said.

The NCLAT has “held me guilty without any factual or legal foundation", Tata patriarch’s plea said, adding its findings “are wrong, erroneous, contrary to the record of the case and require consideration by this court (Supreme Court)”.

Also read: Also read: NCLAT relied heavily on press release: Tata Group lawyers

Tata also said that the judgement states there was “purported comity and mutual relationship” between the Tata Group and SP Group until the appointment of Mistry as Tata Sons’ executive chairman.

Such an alleged mutual understanding cannot mean that the relationship was akin to partnership between the Tata Group and the SP Group, and the latter was entitled to a seat on Tata Sons’ board.

At a glimpse
 

  • Ratan Tata seeks to set aside NCLAT order that found him guilty of taking prejudicial and oppressive steps
  • Tata: Judgment starts on a wrong premise. It treats Tata Sons as a two-group company
  • Mistry’s appointment as Tata Sons’ executive chairman purely in a professional capacity
  • Mistry removed as his relationship with Tata Trusts had become “discordant”
  • Mistry did not disassociate from family business after becoming Tata Sons’ Chairman
  • Mistry concentrated power and authority in his own hands
  • Mistry bought disrepute to Tata group in the way he handled DoCoMo litigation
  • Mistry removed as it was “strongly felt by the Tata Trusts” that he could not provide robust leadership to Tata Sons in future
Published on January 03, 2020
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