Now, Tata Teleservices Challenges  NCLAT’s Order To Restore Cyrus Mistry As Its Director
Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of Tata Group. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Now, Tata Teleservices Challenges  NCLAT’s Order To Restore Cyrus Mistry As Its Director

After Ratan Tata and Tata Sons, Tata Teleservices Ltd. now moved the Supreme Court against the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s judgment to reinstate Cyrus Mistry as director on the telecom operator’s board.

In a separate petition, Tata Teleservices said the appellate tribunal restored Mistry as the company’s director without even giving it an opportunity to explain the reasons behind his removal. In fact, the company said, Mistry himself never sought this restoration at any legal forum and neither were any allegations of oppression and mismanagement leveled against the company.

The telecom services provider highlighted the sequence of events that led to Mistry’s removal from his post. Mistry was given a chance to present his side before the resolution for his removal was passed in February 2016, but he never availed of the opportunity, according to the petition filed in the Supreme Court.

This stems from the NCLAT’s Dec. 18 judgment that ruled Mistry’s dismissal as chairman of Tata Sons as illegal. While the appellate tribunal restored Mistry to his original position as executive chairman of the Tata Group’s holding company, it also directed his reinstatement as the director of three other companies—Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Tata International Ltd. and Tata Teleservices.

But the NCLAT stayed the decision to reinstate Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons for four weeks after the holding company requested a stay to appeal in the Supreme Court.

On Jan. 2, Tata Sons moved the apex court challenging the NCLAT’s order and termed it as a “recipe for unmitigated disaster”. The removal was done only because there was “an untenable trust deficit” between Tata Trusts and Mistry, Tata Sons’ petition said, adding that the judgment is untenable in law and has undermined corporate democracy and rights of the board of directors.

The next day Ratan Tata approached the Supreme Court seeking to quash the NCLAT’s order and said the judgment was “wrong, erroneous and contrary to the record of the case”.

The board of Tata Sons had removed Mistry as chairman in October 2016, almost four years after he took over from Ratan Tata. Mistry first challenged his removal as executive chairman in the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, which dismissed his appeal in April 2017. The next year he moved the NCLAT against the lower tribunal’s verdict.

The Supreme Court is on vacation till Jan. 6 and the next date of the hearing hasn’t been updated yet.

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