Mistry Moves Ap­pel­late Body to Stop Tatas from Oust­ing Him

Says mat­ter needs ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion as board meet is on Feb 6

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Our Bu­reau

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.

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