(Source: BloombergQuint)

Mistry Moves Contempt Plea At NCLT Against Tata Sons, Ratan Tata

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  • Two investment firms owned by Cyrus Mistry’s family on Wednesday filed a contempt application at the National Company Law Tribunal against Tata Sons and its directors, including Ratan Tata, alleging violation of the tribunal’s order in initiating steps to remove him from the board.

    Last week, Tata Sons had called a shareholders' meeting on February 6 to remove Mistry as a director of the holding company of the $103-billion Tata Group.

    In the application at NCLT, Cyrus Investments Ltd and Sterling Investment sought an injunction against Tata Sons from "convening or holding of the EGM scheduled on February 6, 2017 or any other date or from transacting any business thereat".

    It also sought punishment for Tata, other directors of Tata Sons and trustees of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Sir Dorabjee Trust -- N A Soonawala, R K Krishnakumar and R Venkatramana -- with "simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months" or a fine of Rs 2,000 or both.

    The application alleged that the respondents have "committed a breach" of the NCLT order passed on December 22 by issuing a special notice on January 3, 2017 for Mistry’s removal as a director from the board of Tata Sons, "in clear violation of the order".

    It claimed that the move to remove Mistry was against the order of NCLT which stated that the respondents will not "initiate any action or proceedings over this subject matter pending disposal of this company petition".

    It is submitted that if the EGM is allowed to be held the same would also constitute a deliberate and contumacious breach of the aforesaid dated December 22, 26 and all those participating in and voting at such meting would also be guilty of contempt
    Contempt application filed in NCLT

    The application said: "It is therefore absolutely just, necessary and convenient that Respondent No 1 (Tata Sons) be restrained by an order and injunction of this tribunal from convening or holding such a meeting or from transacting any business thereat".

    Tata Sons had abruptly removed Mistry as its chairman on October 24, 2016 and sought his ouster from operating companies like Tata Motors and TCS. He had subsequently resigned from the board of six companies, but dragged Tata Sons and his interim successor Ratan Tata to the NCLT.

    Tata Sons was quick to deny the claims.

    There is no contempt. We will make our submissions to the NCLT.
    Group Spokesperson, Tata Sons