The Supreme Court’s judgement in favour of the Tata Sons in their legal battle against Cyrus Mistry “is a validation of the ethics” of the group, industrialist Ratan Tata said on Friday. His reaction came hours after the Supreme Court set aside the December 2019 order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that had reinstated Mistry as the chairperson of Tata Sons Limited.
“I appreciate and I am grateful for the judgement passed by the honourable Supreme Court today,” the 83-year old former chairman of Tata Group tweeted. “It’s not an issue of winning or losing. After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgement upholding all the appeals of Tata Sons is a validation of the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principle of the group. It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary.”
Mistry took over the reins of the salt-to-software conglomerate in 2012, after Ratan Tata retired from active corporate life. However, he was removed from the post in October 2016, before being ousted from the board of Tata Sons in February 2017.
The legal battle between Mistry and the Tata Sons that ensued since then, initially saw the National Company Law Tribunal dismissing Mistry’s petition that alleged oppression of minority stakeholders and mismanagement in the company. However, appeals body National Company Law Appellate Tribunal overturned the decision and reinstated Mistry as the Tata Sons chairperson in December 2019.
Tata Sons and Ratan Tata challenged the NCLAT decision in the Supreme Court in January 2020, following which the court stayed the NCLAT order. Mistry, meanwhile, filed a counter-appeal in the Supreme Court in February 2020, submitting that the NCLAT order had failed to secure Shapoorji Pallonji Group “from any prejudicial conduct in the future”.
On Friday, more than three months after the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on the matter, it ruled all the appeals in the case in favour of Tata Sons.
The court decision heralded well for the conglomerate in the markets too, as almost all companies of the Tata Group, including major ones like Tata Steel, Tata Power, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals were gaining in the range of 3% to 6% on the Bombay Stock Exchange.