Mehli Mistry, promoter of M Pallonji and Co, has refuted the allegations made by his cousin and ousted Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry in a petition filed against the conglomerate at the National Company Law Tribunal. He told The Economic Times that there was no truth to the accusation that he had influenced Ratan Tata’s decision to remove Cyrus Mistry from the post.
“Ratan Tata is not someone who can be influenced,” he said. Mehli Mistry also said that while his cousin’s father was known as the Phantom of Bombay House, Cyrus Mistry himself would “go down in history as the self-confessed lame duck of Bombay House”.
In the NCLT petition filed by two investment firms controlled by the ousted chairperson’s family, they urged the tribunal to appoint an independent auditor to conduct forensic audit of all contracts with Mehli Mistry’s firms. The plea claimed that all the contracts were awarded to his companies because of his friendship with Ratan Tata.
On December 22, the tribunal had directed Cyrus Mistry to submit documented proof to support the claims made in the petition. The ousted chairperson filed an affidavit on Tuesday with evidence to prove Interim Chairman Ratan Tata’s interference in Tata Group companies during his tenure. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for January 31 and February 1. The NCLT bench also directed Tata Sons and other respondents to file a reply within a fortnight, after which the petitioner is expected to file a rejoinder.
Cyrus Mistry had stepped down from all Tata Group companies on December 19, saying it was time to be “more incisive in securing the best interest of the Tata Group”. In his resignation letter, he alleged that “an illegal coup” was staged by Ratan Tata on October 24, the day he was sacked from his post in the holding company. Tata Sons has accused Cyrus Mistry of misleading the 2011 selection committee set up to appoint Ratan Tata’s successor.