A statement from expelled Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry's office on Tuesday said that the charges against him in connection with Docomo deal were baseless. It said that Tata Sons signed the agreement with Docomo in 2009 before he was appointed to the role. "Insinuations that the Docomo issue was handled in a manner inconsistent with Tata culture and values are baseless. All decisions were taken with the unanimous approval of the Tata Sons Board," said the statement.
The statement comes in the backdrop of Tata Sons officials hinting that Mistry will "be made the fall guy" once the Docomo deal is examined. Docomo had bought a 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices Ltd. In 2014, it decided to exit the deal and asked Tata Sons to find a buyer for its stake at a pre-determined price. However, the Reserve Bank of India said that foreign investors cannot sell stakes in Indian companies at a pre-determined price, reported NDTV. The matter went to the arbitration court and the deal cost Tata Sons $1.2 billion (nearly Rs 8,000 crore).
On October 26, Mistry issued a letter in which he had claimed that the conglomerate faced $18 billion (Rs 1.15 lakh crore) in write-downs or reduction in value of assets. The letter said he had inherited “debt-laden” ventures of Indian Hotels Co, Tata Motors Ltd’s passenger-vehicle operations, Tata Steel Ltd’s European business, and part of the group’s power unit and its telecommunications subsidiary during his tenure as chairperson.
His step came two days after the board decided to push Mistry out after a massive fallout, with Tata’s shares falling and the company anticipating legal action by the former executive. Ratan Tata has taken over Mistry’s post temporarily, the company said. The Tatas also filed caveats seeking a notice from Mistry “fearing legal action” against their move to dismiss him from the post after four years. A caveat is a preventive measure that disallows courts from hearing matters without both parties being notified about them first.