Industrialist Ratan Tata on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the reinstatement of Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairperson and also against his immediate reinstatement as director of the Tata Sons, Business Standard reported.
The chairman emeritus of Tata Sons moved the Supreme Court in his personal capacity and sought to set aside the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s December 18 order reinstating Mistry. The NCLAT had held as illegal the appointment of N Chandrasekaran as his successor. It had also termed the conversion of Tata Sons from public to private company as illegal.
Ratan Tata’s petition will be placed before the Supreme Court on Monday, when it will convene after vacations. Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, had on Thursday moved the Supreme Court against Mistry’s reinstatement. This petition will also come up on Monday.
The tribunal “holds the appellant [Ratan Tata] guilty of having taken oppressive and prejudicial steps against the interest of the shareholders of Tata Sons”, Tata said in his petition, according to The Hindu BusinessLine. The petition alleged that the tribunal held him guilty without “any factual or legal foundation”.
“The findings of the appellate tribunal are wrong, erroneous, contrary to the record of the case and require consideration by this court [Supreme Court],” the petition said. “The impugned judgement is also infirm because it blatantly indulges in propagating a selective narrative where relevant facts and record have been glossed over, submissions made by the appellant and other respondents have been ignored and if noticed then are not been dealt with in the impugned judgement.”
The petition added: “The pretense of reasoning and judicial approach is betrayed by omission to consider the record itself.”
NCLAT reserves order on Registrar of Companies plea
Meanwhile, on Friday, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal reserved its order on the plea filed by the Registrar of Companies seeking modifications in the judgement that reinstated Mistry, IANS reported.
A bench headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya said the judgment was based on findings and was not against the Registrar of Companies. He said the tribunal can only issue clarifications and not change the judgement. “Supreme Court, being the highest judicial authority can change the judgement if it finds it incorrect,” Mukhopadhaya added.
On Thursday, the NCLAT had asked the Registrar of Companies to explain the rationale behind allowing Tata Sons to convert into a private company, which it has termed as “illegal”. The RoC sought amendments in certain parts of the December 18 judgment “to correctly reflect the conduct of the Registrar of Companies, Mumbai, as not being illegal”.
Mistry, who is from the Shapoorji Pallonji family, took over from Ratan Tata in 2012 as the sixth chairperson of Tata Sons. However, he had differences with this predecessor and they reportedly fell out over key investment decisions. Mistry stepped down from all Tata Group companies in December 2016, two months after being sacked as chairperson. He accused Ratan Tata of staging “an illegal coup” while the Tatas alleged Mistry misled the 2011 selection committee set up to appoint Ratan Tata’s successor.
The same month, Mistry and his family-run investment firm Cyrus Investments approached the company tribunal, as minority shareholders, against Tata Sons and 20 people, including Ratan Tata.
On February 6, 2017, the shareholders of Tata Sons voted to remove Mistry from the post of director. This came a month after Chandrasekaran was appointed to succeed Mistry.