Following Cyrus Mistry moving the National Company Law Tribunal last week, Tata Sons on Tuesday responded by sending him a legal notice for alleged breach of confidentiality by making public sensitive documents, including minutes of board meetings, financial information and data, which were not directly related to his petition.
Since the petition filed in the NCLT against the Tata Sons is through Mistry’s family firms — Cyrus Investment and Sterling Investment — where he holds stakes, Tata Sons has charged him with breach of confidentiality and asked him to cease and desist from sharing any confidential and sensitive information he came to know in his capacity as director and redact all documents which are not directly related to the legal proceedings.
It has termed attaching dozens of confidential and sensitive company documents with the petition filed by Mistry’s family investment firms as “reckless failure” in discharging of “fiduciary, legal and contractual duties” by Mistry.
Tata Sons in the notice served through law firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said “without there being any requirement to do so” the Mistry family firms “deliberately included in petition, as exhibits, confidential data, business strategies, financial information pertaining to the business affairs of Tata Sons, Tata Group companies and joint ventures (all such material being ‘confidential and sensitive information’)”.
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Mistry, through his family’s investment firms, which have a 18.38% stake in Tata Sons, had moved NCLT on December 20 alleging oppression of minority shareholders by the company. In his petition to NCLT under sections 241, 242 and 244, Mistry had also, among other things, annexed the minutes of the board meeting of Tata Sons on October 24 in which he was removed.
Following Mistry’s removal, there have been a major war of words between him and Tata Sons. Apart from Mistry the Tatas also gunned for their one-time ally and friend Nusli Wadia whom they accused of acting in concert with Mistry. While Mistry stepped down as director of the remaining five Tata firms following his ouster from the board of Tata Consultancy Services in an extraordinary general meeting, Wadia was removed as independent director from the boards of Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals.
Wadia has retaliated by calling all allegations against him a part of vendetta by Ratan Tata and has moved the court in a Rs 3,000-crore defamation suit as well as a criminal defamation suit against him and Tata Sons.