Ousted Tata chairperson Cyrus Mistry, in a statement issued on Sunday, accused Tata Sons of “stooping low in its public statements” and described the conglomerate’s questioning of its independent directors as “unfortunate”, ANI reported. He said six of the nine independent directors questioned were appointed during interim chairperson Ratan Tata’s regime, The Economic Times reported.
Mistry said Deepak Parekh, Gautam Banerjee, Ireena Vital, Keki Dadiseth, Nadir Godrej, Nasser Munjee, Nusli Wadia, Vibha Paul Rishi and Yashwant Thorat were being “questioned for undertaking their fiduciary duty of protecting the shareholders of the companies of which they serve,” The Economic Times reported.
Responding to the allegation made by Tata Sons that the operating companies were drifting away, Mistry said this was “furthest from the truth”. He said the “country acknowledges these independent directors as stalwarts of India Inc and that the suggestion that they can be swayed is absolutely astonishing.
On November 11, Tata Sons had moved a resolution to have both Cyrus Mistry and Nusli Wadia removed as directors of Tata Chemicals, Tata Steel and Tata Motors. The decision was made following a Tata Chemicals’ board meeting on Friday, at which Wadia and a few other independent directors supported Mistry as the chairman of the board, Mint reported.
The decision to remove Wadia from the boards comes amid a spat between the Tatas and Mistry, who was ousted as the chairman of Tata Sons on October 24. He was replaced as the chairman of Tata Consultancy Services by Ishaat Hussain. The Tata Group has accused Mistry of being responsible for its dwindling revenue.
The group had also filed caveats as preventive measure, “fearing legal action” by Mistry, who was appointed the chairman of the conglomerate in 2012. His family’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group owns around one-fifth of Tata Sons. In a letter to his employees, Ratan Tata had said the decision was “absolutely necessary” for the group’s success.