Nusli Wadia sends another defamation notice to Tata Sons

Nusli Wadia. Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar
Nusli Wadia, chairman of Wadia group of companies, has sought the immediate withdrawal of a special notice from Tata Sons to remove him from the board of Tata Chemicals as an independent director, saying the allegations in the notice from the Tatas are “baseless, false, defamatory and libellous”. Wadia had come out in full support of Mistry in the company’s board meeting held on November 10.

 

In a notice to Tata Sons directors, Wadia asked Tata Sons to withdraw the special notice it sent to Tata Chemicals within two days else he would initiate civil and criminal defamation proceedings against Tata Sons directors.

 

According to Wadia, 72, he’s served on the board of Tata Chemicals since 1981 and has always acted with total independence of mind, long before it became a legal requirement.

 

“My association with J R D Tata goes back several decades to 1970. It’s common knowledge that our deep friendship, borne out of great affection and respect, lasted till his passing. He was my mentor and godfather and it is with this values that I’ve imbibed from him I have conducted myself,” said Wadia.

 

“My relationship with Ratan Tata goes back several decades as well. I am deeply shocked and surprised that one of the first acts of the board of Tata Sons after he became interim chairman was to move a resolution seeking my removal as an independent director based on absolutely baseless and libellous allegations,” said Wadia.

 

“It pains me that the Tata Sons board has failed to live up to the same ethical standards and corporate governance principles set by J R D Tata and is complicit in issuing the vindictive and malicious special notice,” said Wadia.

 

Tata Chemicals said in a statement to the stock exchanges on Tuesday that it has called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders on December 23 in Mumbai to remove both Wadia and Mistry from its board as directors.

 

It said Tata Sons has also proposed the candidature of Bhaskar Bhat and S Padmanabhan as directors in the same EGM.

 

Wadia said the special notice by Tata Chemicals seems to be a reaction to the fact that independent directors – Nasser Munjee, Y S P Thorat, Vibha Paul Rishi and Wadia himself – refused to accept an unsigned statement tabled and read out by Bhaskar Bhat asking for the removal of Cyrus Mistry as chairman. Bhat later quit the board on the same day.

 

On Monday, Wadia had sent a similar defamation notice to the Tata Sons board following a similar notice from Tata Steel, where he is an independent director.