New Delhi, August 4: In the latest long exchange of legal salvos in the Tata-Mistry feud, Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan N Tata has fired another salvo in the Supreme Court, said the decision to oust Cyrus Mistry was not a pleasant one.
However, in the same breadth, Tata’s rejoinder refers Mistry as a Trojan horse, whose actions and allegations were undignified and not in keeping with the Tata’s credo.
In December of 2019, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had reinstated Mistry as chairperson of Tata Sons, and upheld charges of oppression of minority shareholders. Later, Tata Sons had challenged it before the Supreme Court.
The top court in January had stayed the NCLAT judgment and in May, Mistry also challenged the NCLAT judgment. In the cross-appeal, Mistry had sought for proportionate representation for the Pallonji Group on the Tata Sons board and claimed that a quasi-partnership exist between the two groups.
In the rejoinder, Tata said he would like to bow out of any debate on his performance as against that of Mistry at the helm of Tata Sons. He noted that the respective performance would be for the stakeholders to judge as Mistry has questioned his performance to defend himself.
Tata also argued that Mistry has complained of the legacy that he inherited, and this reflected poorly on him, as he was picked for guiding the group into the future and not to criticise the past, CNBCTV18 reported.
Seemingly defending the Nano project, Tata expressed dismay at Mistry questioning his emotional decisions as Tata Group’s endeavors are based on passion and emotion, and not short term returns. Interestingly, he also pointed out how his predecessors such as Sir Dorab Tata pledged wife’s jewellery to save Tata Steel and how JRD Tata’s passion for aviation led to Air India.
Talking on Mistry’s allegations that why board meeting minutes were silent on reasons for his ouster, Tata said there is dignity in leaving things unsaid, and this decorum is maintained across the Tata boards. He also recorded that Mistry was given an opportunity to leave gracefully, before the board resolved to oust him.
Tata said that it was clear that the reason Mistry had argued about oppression is due to the personal hurt and grievance stemming from the ouster. He argued that it was ironic for Pallonji Group to claim oppression with their investment of Rs 69 crore in 1965, growing by 2,100 times, to Rs 1.5 lakh crore
Finally, Tata urged the Supreme Court to look through Mistry’s façade as he is playing the victim card by exaggerating and mischaracterising facts.