Tata Sons Goes To Supreme Court Over Cyrus Mistry's Reappointment

Cyrus Mistry was restored as the executive chairman of Tata Sons on December 18 by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

Cyrus Mistry was removed from the board of Tata Sons in October 2016.

New Delhi:

Tata Sons approached the Supreme Court today challenging the restoration of Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the group by company law tribunal NCLAT last month.

Cyrus Mistry was restored as the executive chairman of Tata Sons, one of the country's oldest and largest conglomerates, on December 18 by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), three years after his dramatic sacking at a board meeting following which Ratan Tata took over as interim chairman.

In its petition, Tata Sons sought a stay on the company law tribunal's order as well as it declaring the selection and appointment of N Chandrashekaran as chairperson as illegal. "The NCLAT order, in one stroke of the pen, pulled down the governance and corporate structure of Tata Sons so painstakingly put together by its founders, in the spirit of trusteeship and responsibility, in the course of last one century," the group told the top court.

"By ordering Cyrus Mistry's reinstatement, the NCLAT order has created confusion in the working of important corporate entities, some of which are listed companies," the petition said.

A two-judge panel of the NCLAT said last month that Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata's actions against Mr Mistry were oppressive. The tribunal also said Tata Sons' move to turn private was unlawful and ordered a reversal. Tata Sons' board had approved a plan to go private in September 2017.

Cyrus Mistry launched legal proceedings against Tata Sons after his removal from the company.

In July last year, the National Company Law Tribunal dismissed Mr Mistry's plea challenging his removal as chairman of Tata Sons. The NCLT held that the Tata Sons board was competent to remove him as executive chairman and that he was ejected as the board members had lost confidence in him.

He appealed to the tribunal to overturn the dismissal and, following an unfavorable ruling, appealed to the NCLAT seeking to expunge disparaging remarks against him in the original order.

Tata Sons board removed Mr Mistry as chairman and appointed Ratan Tata as interim chairman in October 2016. The change in the top management came about four years after he had taken over from Mr Tata.

In December 2016, Mr Mistry resigned as director from all Tata Sons companies and moved the NCLT alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement. In January 2017, Tata Sons named N Chandrashekaran as chairman. The next month, Mr Mistry was removed from the post of director on the Tata Sons board. Mr Chandrasekaran was the first non-Parsi to be appointed as chairman of Tata Sons.

Mr Mistry currently serves as managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji & Company, which is part of the Shapoorji Pallonji group owned by his family. He joined the board of Tata Sons in 2006 and was appointed deputy chairman in November 2011.

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