Businessman Cyrus Mistry on Sunday said he did not wish to return as the executive chairperson of Tata Sons or the director of three group companies even though the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal had cleared the way for him last month, ANI reported.
“I am humbled by the NCLAT order, which after review of the enormous material on record, recognized the illegal manner in which I was removed and the oppressive and prejudicial conduct of Mr [Ratan] Tata and other trustees,” Mistry said in a statement, according to ANI. “I intend to make it clear that despite the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal order in my favour, I will not be pursuing the executive chairmanship of Tata Sons, or directorship of TCS, Tata Teleservices or Tata Industries.”
He added: “I will however vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder, including that of resuming the 30-year history of a seat at the Board of Tata Sons and the incorporation of highest standards of corporate governance and transparency at Tata Sons.”
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, or NCLAT, had on December 18 ordered that Mistry be reinstated as the executive chairperson of Tata Sons. The NCLAT held as illegal the appointment of N Chandrasekaran as his successor. Both Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, and Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata have moved the Supreme Court against this order. The court is expected to take up both petitions on Monday.
Soon after the judgement, Mistry had said the decision was a vindication of the stand he took after the company’s board removed him three years ago “without warning or reason”. It was not a personal victory, he had said, adding that it was a victory for the principles of good governance and minority shareholder rights.
Mistry is a scion of the Shapoorji Pallonji family that holds a minority stake in Tata Group. He took over from Ratan Tata in 2012 as the company’s sixth chairperson. However, he reportedly fell out with Ratan Tata 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 had misled the selection committee set up in 2011 to appoint Ratan Tata’s successor.
The same month, Mistry and his family-run investment firm Cyrus Investments approached the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLT, 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 N Chandrasekaran was appointed the new chairperson.
In August 2018, Mistry challenged the order of the NCLT’s Mumbai bench, which found no merit in his allegations of operational mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders. The appellate tribunal admitted Mistry’s plea the same month, and said Tata Sons cannot force him to sell his shares in the company.