The counsel for former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry on Monday said removal of his client from the post of chairman and as a director on the board of Tata Sons was not a directorial dispute but an act of oppression against minority shareholders. Arguments in the ongoing Tata-Mistry case resumed on Monday after the previous hearing on November 23, 2017. The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is hearing the case between Cyrus Mistry’s companies — Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments Co — and Tata Sons in relation to the alleged mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders. Arguing for Mistry’s companies, senior counsel C Aryama Sundaram told the NCLT, “Removal of him as chairman and director are step in aid for oppression, for the minority to toe the line and not directorial dispute.” He said Mistry’s removal was not related to his performance. Sundaram said, “Tata companies had outperformed the BSE by 5% under his stewardship. Even today, no explanation has been given why was he removed…three months before his sacking from Tata Sons’ chairmanship, a recommendation committee had taken note of his good work in the company and recommended his salary be increased. And, then suddenly, he was told to go on October 24, 2016.”
Sundaram reiterated his earlier argument that the resolution to remove Mistry was not even present in the agenda of the board meeting held on October 24, 2016, the day he was removed as the chairman. “His removal was not the agenda, but there were embarrassing ideas to discuss on the board agenda that day and best way not to discuss them is to remove the man,” Sundaram said.
Mistry’s family firms – Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments Co – have an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons.