‘Not an issue of winning or losing’: Ratan Tata after Supreme Court says Cyrus Mistry’s ouster as Tata chairperson legal
Chairperson Emeritus of Tata Trusts Ratan Tata on Friday thanked the Supreme Court for its judgment setting aside the order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) restoring Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairperson of the conglomerate Tata Group. Tata said the top court's judgement was a “validation of the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principles of the group.”
“I appreciate and am grateful for the judgement passed by the honourable Supreme Court today. It is not an issue of winning or losing. After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgement upholding all the appeals of Tata Sons is a validation of the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principles of the group,” Tata said in a statement. “It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary,” he added.
Watch | Big win for Tata Sons, SC backs removal of Cyrus Mistry: Ratan Tata responds
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and also comprising justice AS Bopanna and justice V Ramasubramanian set aside the NCLAT order from December 18, 2019. "All the questions of law are liable to be answered in favour of the appellants Tata Group and the appeals filed by the Tata Group are liable to be allowed and those by Shapoorji Pallonji Group are liable to be dismissed,” the bench said.
Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group informed the top court on December 17 last year that Mistry’s removal as the chairperson of the $100 billion Tata Sons in a board meeting held in October 2016 was akin to a “blood sport” and “ambush” and was in complete violation of principles of corporate governance and pervasive violation of Articles of Association in the process. The Tata Group had vehemently opposed the allegations and said there was no wrongdoing and the board was well within its right to remove Mistry as the chairperson.
The top court on January 10 last year granted relief to the Tata Group by staying the NCLAT order by which Mistry was restored as the executive chairperson. Mistry had succeeded Ratan Tata as chairperson of the Tata Sons in 2012 but was ousted four years later.
Tata told shareholders of group firms days after Mistry’s ouster that he was replaced as the chairperson of Tata Sons after four years in that role on October 24, 2016, "because the board of Tata Sons lost confidence in him and his ability to lead the Tata Group in future". He also said the board felt that Mistry's removal was “absolutely necessary” for the future success of the group. Mistry, who termed his sacking as an “illegal coup”, alleged his ouster was aimed to cut short his "attempt to bring about reform" at the Tata Group.
Tata Trusts, which owns a 66% stake in Tata Sons, is chaired by Tata. The Mistry family owns an 18.4% stake in the company. After the ruling, shares of Tata Motors Ltd jumped as much as 5.6%, in the biggest intraday gain in more than three weeks. Tata Steel Ltd rallied 6.1%, Tata Consumer Products Ltd gained 2.7% and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose as much as 1.7%.
(With agency inputs)