Industrialist Nusli Wadia served a notice on Tata Sons on Monday, asking the conglomerate to withdraw “false” charges against him with respect to his role as an independent director on the board of Tata group companies.
Wadia, chairman of the Bombay Dyeing group, also mentioned that if the allegations made against him were not withdrawn, he would press civil and criminal charges against the $103-billion salt-to-software business empire.
A Tata Sons spokesperson confirmed receiving a nine-page letter. “We will respond to it appropriately,” he said.
Wadia is an independent director on some Tata group companies that have called extraordinary general meetings to remove him from their boards for allegedly siding with ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry, who the Tata Consultancy Services said had caused enormous harm to the group through his “unsubstantiated allegations”.
Wadia, who was long known as a friend of group patriarch Ratan Tata, had been widely seen as rallying independent directors of these companies to endorse Mistry’s leadership.
Describing the Tatas’ move to remove him from the boards of Indian Hotels, Tata Chemicals, Tata Motors and Tata Steel as an attempt to “tarnish his personal integrity and corporate image”, Wadia asked Tata Sons to desist from the move or face legal action.
“These allegations are baseless, false, defamatory and libelous, and have been made with the intention of harming my reputation,” Wadia said in the notice dated November 21.
Wadia said the Tatas’ remarks in the move to oust him from the Tata Steel board as an independent director had “lowered” his image in front of the “esteemed colleagues on board of Tata Steel, and its public shareholders, who you claim will benefit from my removal”.
(With agency inputs)