‘You lost Tata board’s confidence’: Court junks Cyrus Mistry’s sacking plea

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday dismissed the petition of Cyrus Mistry challenging his removal as the chairperson of Tata Sons, saying the conglomerate’s board and a majority of its members had lost confidence in him.

The tribunal’s main bench of BSV Prakash Kumar and V Nallasenapathy said it will not accept Mistry’s contentions that his removal was due to the result of mismanagement by the board and oppression of minority shareholders of the group.

It said Mistry was removed because he sent out certain crucial information about the company to the income tax department, leaked details to the media and came out openly in public against the company’s shareholders and its board.

Mistry was ousted as Tata Sons’ chairman a four-year stint in October 2016.

He and his family-run investment firm, Cyrus Investments, approached the NCLT two months later as minority shareholders against the corporate monolith and others, including Ratan Tata, alleging oppression and mismanagement.

As per the plea, five months later he was also removed from the post of director of Tata Sons’ board for approaching the tribunal.

Mistry said he would appeal against the tribunal’s order and that its ruling was “disappointing although not surprising”.

“We will continue to strive for ensuring good governance and protection of interests of minority shareholders and all stakeholders in Tata Sons from the wilful brute rule of the majority,” the statement from Mistry’s office said.

“The ruling is in line with the earlier position expressed by the tribunal. An appeal on merits will be pursued,” it added.

According to the statement, matters like TTSL, Air Asia, ‘recovery of dues’ from serial entrepreneur C Sivasankaran, non-closure of a loss-making Nano, a struggling resolution of Tata Steel Europe and all present serious issues will be pursued.

“Not only the facts that were under consideration but also subsequent facts and developments that continue to evidence oppression and mismanagement will be under scrutiny and will be pursued in full earnest,” it added.

An order of NCLT can be challenged before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal under the Companies Act 2013.

(With agency inputs)

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