Mistry Moves Appellate Body to Stop Tatas from Ousting Him
Says matter needs urgent intervention as board meet is on Feb 6
Mumbai: Tata Sons’ ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry has moved a petition to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in New Delhi asking it to stop Tata Sons from removing him from the board at the shareholder meeting scheduled for February 6. The family firms — Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments — also asked the appellate tribunal to decide on the maintainability of the main petition filed in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai on December 22 last year, where they alleged oppression of minority shareholder rights and mismanagement at the Tata Group.
The companies, in their appeal, said the matter needed urgent intervention as NCLT was not ready to hear the issue on January 31 of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Tata Sons declined to
comment on the development.
Mistry's lawyers had argued that Tata Sons called for an EGM on Feb 6 despite the court asking both parties not to take any action on the matter. However, the two-member bench comprising BSV Prakash Kumar and V. Nallasenapathy rejected contempt petition and did not stay the EGM, giving Tata Sons the way to remove Mistry from its board. They gave them an option to club the issue of the EGM with the original petition.
"Counsel for the appellants argued that since the proposed removal was far more urgent, it would be just and equitable to argue that aspect of the matter urgently and then deal with the maintainability issue," it said in the petition.
Tata Sons had argued that Mistry's main petition is not maintainable as his family firms hold only 2.17% shares of the total share capital of Tata Sons. According to law, they argued, shareholder needs at least 10% to file a petition in the NCLT. Mistry’s lawyers have sought a waiver.
"However, the Tribunal was not inclined to hear the issue of convening an EGM. The Tribunal insisted that counsel for the appellants must commence arguments of the main petition rather than begin with the arguments on the issue of convening an EGM," the petition said.