NCLT overrules Cyrus Mistry in Tata boardroom battle, says he lost trust

Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) dismissed on Monday Cyrus Mistry’s plea challenging his ouster as the chairman of the Tata Sons group, news agencies and TV channels reported.

The quasi-judicial body for corporate grievances also said it was not accepting Mistry's contentions that his removal was due to the result of mismanagement by the board and oppression of minority shareholders of the group, according to the reports. 

Mistry was removed because the Tata Sons board and majority of its members lost confidence in him after he sent out certain crucial information about the company to the I-T department, leaked details to the media and came out openly in public against the company's shareholders and its board, the NCLT said in a ruling that is being viewed as a vindication of the group after an 18-month feud. 

Mistry, whose camp alleged said Ratan Tata’s influence was behind his ouster, can appeal against this order before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

"This has never been a battle of egos, but fight for good governance. (We) will look to appeal on all counts," ET Now quoted Mistry's counsel as saying.

Mohan Parasaran, counsel for Ratan Tata, told ET Now: "(We) Have to see fineprint of the NCLT order. I believe all appeals have been dismissed." 

Mistry, who took over as the chairman in 2012 after Ratan Tata announced his retirement, was removed from the position in October 2016. 

Two months later, he and his family-run investment firm, Cyrus Investments, approached the NCLT as minority shareholders against the corporate monolith and others, including Ratan Tata.

The plea said five months later Mistry was also removed from the post of director of Tata Sons' board for approaching the NCLT.

Both sides exchanged barbs through defamation suits, hundreds of affidavits and references to past emails and letters in the unprecedented war of words in the Tata Group's 150-year-old history. 

Shares of various Tata group companies witnessed mixed trends after the NCLT ruling. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) fell over one per cent to Rs 1,890.30, while Tata Motors rose nearly two per cent to Rs 275.85 on the BSE. 

In late morning trade, the scrips of Tata Steel and Tata Power climbed over one per cent to Rs 560.05 and Rs 72.80. Gaining more than one per cent, Tata Chemicals too was trading in the green at Rs 711.30. The shares of Tata Coffee went up over two per cent to Rs 121.00.

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