In major setback for industry giant Cyrus Mistry, the Supreme Court put on hold the NCLAT order restoring him as Tata Sons chairman on Friday. “There is a basic error, there was no prayer for reinstatement of Cyrus Mistry,” Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said while giving the key order. The Chief Justice of India also said that the NCLAT granted reliefs, which were not even sought by Mistry himself. So far, both Tata Sons and Cyrus Mistry have not reacted on the verdict.
In a big win for Mistry, a company law appeals court on December 18 had restored him as executive chairman of Tata Sons and ruled that appointment of N Chandrasekaran as head of the holding company of over USD 110 billion salt-to-software conglomerate was illegal. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) held that the group's chairman emeritus Ratan Tata's actions against Mistry were oppressive and the appoint of the new chairman illegal.
On January 5, Cyrus Mistry said that he was not interested in getting back into Tata Group in any capacity. In a statement, Mistry said he will not pursue Chairmanship of Tata Sons and neither directorship in the three Tata Group companies - TCS, Tata Tele and Tata Industries Ltd. However, Mistry said he will pursue all options to protect rights of minority shareholders. Mistry said his focus has always been upholding best standards in corporate governance. Interests of Tata group are far more important than interest of any individual or me, said Mistry.
Tata Sons Private Ltd (TSPL) challenged the December 18 decision of NCLAT. "Restoring Cyrus Mistry to the position as Chairman has undermined corporate democracy and the rights of the board of directors," Tata Sons had said in its filing. "The NCLAT has, in one stroke of the pen, pulled down the governance and corporate structure of the appellant (Tata Sons) so painstakingly put together by its founders, in the spirit of trusteeship and responsibility, in the course of last one century," it added.Who is Cyrus Mistry?
Mistry, scion of the wealthy Shapoorji Pallonji family, had in December 2012 succeeded Ratan Tata as the Executive Chairman of Tata Sons, a post that also made him the head of all Tata group listed firms such as Tata Power and Tata Motors. In an overnight coup, he was removed as the Chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016. Along with him, the entire senior management too was purged and Ratan Tata was back at the helms of affairs four years after he took retirement.