Tata-Mistry Case: Tata Sons To Push For Urgent Hearing In Supreme Court Today
The logo for Tata Motors is displayed on the front grill of a Tata Indica vehicle at a showroom. (Photographer: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Bloomberg News)

Tata-Mistry Case: Tata Sons To Push For Urgent Hearing In Supreme Court Today

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Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. is likely to mention in the Supreme Court on Monday its petition challenging NCLAT's decision restoring Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman, saying the verdict "undermined corporate democracy" and the "rights" of its board of directors.

A lawyer associated with the matter said the petition would be mentioned for urgent hearing. The petition is likely to be mentioned by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was the lead counsel for Tata Group in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

On Sunday, Mistry in a statement said he will not pursue chairmanship of Tata Sons or directorship of group companies, but will seek a chair for his family on the holding company’s board.

Tata Sons, in its petition to the Supreme Court, has sought "setting aside of impugned judgment in toto" of NCLAT, alleging it was "completely inconsistent with the annals of corporate law" and reflected "non-appreciation of facts", which was "untenable in law".

In its order dated Dec. 18, NCLAT not only restored Mistry as chairman but also ruled that conversion of Tata Sons from a public to a private firm was illegal. Tata Sons, as well as Ratan Tata and several Tata Group companies, have challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court. It, however, stayed the operation of its order to allow Tata Sons to file an appeal in the top court.

In its appeal, filed through Karanjawala & Co, Tata Sons sought a stay on NCLAT's verdict as an interim relief.

"In other words, far from putting an end to alleged acts complained of, the judgment (of the NCLAT) has sown the seeds for a never-ending discord and conflict between the shareholders of the appellant (TSPL), creating a recipe for an unmitigated disaster," it said.

The plea raised questions of law and said the order restoring Mistry to his "original position" as the executive chairman of TSPL for the "rest of the tenure" was illegal as his tenure "stood extinguished in March 2017".

The plea termed "illegal" NCLAT's declaration that Chandrasekaran's appointment as Tata Sons chairman was wrong and claimed he was appointed "in accordance with the articles and duly approved by the board and shareholders".

It alleged NCLAT granted reliefs to Mistry which were not even sought.

Mistry, the scion of the Shapoorji Pallonji family, had in December 2012 succeeded Ratan Tata as executive chairman of Tata Sons, a post that also made him the head of all Tata group-listed firms such as Tata Power Co. Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd.

He was removed as the chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016. Along with him, the entire senior management too was purged. Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata was back at the helm of affairs, four years after he took retirement, until Chandrasekaran took charge in February 2017.

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