Cyrus Mistry, former Tata Sons chairman, looks on during an earlier media event. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Cyrus Mistry Gets Relief In Rs 500 Crore Defamation Complaint

A Mumbai sessions court today quashed and set aside summons issued by a magistrate’s court to ousted Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry and others in connection with a Rs 500 crore defamation complaint filed by Tata Trusts' R Venkatramanan.

Mistry and the other accused had approached the sessions court after the metropolitan magistrate issued the summons in July this year directing them to appear before it.

“The sessions court, after hearing arguments of all sides at length, today quashed and set aside the summons issued by the magistrate's court. The matter has been remanded to the magistrate for hearing on the complaint,” Mistry's lawyer Aabad Ponda said.

Venkatramanan, managing trustee of Tata Trusts, had filed the criminal defamation complaint against Mistry and others for making “false” statements and sought a compensation of Rs 500 crore.

An e-mail sent by Mistry to the directors and trustees of Tata Trusts contained “defamatory statements” against him, Venkatramanan said.

According to the complaint, after Mistry was ousted as the chairman of Tata Sons on Oct. 24, 2016, he, in an e-mail, alleged that fraudulent transactions worth Rs 22 crore had taken place at the group's aviation venture, AirAsia India, and accused Venkatramanan of having tried to cover it up.

The issue is now being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

Venkatramanan said the email, which was leaked to the media, caused irreparable damage to his reputation.