NCLT reserves order on maintainability of Cyrus Mistry firms’ pleas

The National Company Law Tribunal here today reserved till March 6 its order on maintainability of the petitions filed by two companies owned by the family of Cyrus Mistry against his ouster from Tata Sons.

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Cyrus Mistry said IHCL's acquisition of Sea Rock hotel in Mumbai though of strategic value was done at a price "evidently way too high." (Reuters)

The National Company Law Tribunal here today reserved till March 6 its order on maintainability of the petitions filed by two companies owned by the family of Cyrus Mistry against his ouster from Tata Sons. As the arguments on the issue ended, the NCLT bench of BSV Prakash Kumar and V Nallasenapathy said it will pass the order on maintainability of petitions filed by Cyrus Mistry Investment and Sterling Investment Corporation on March 6.

If the petitions are held maintainable, then further hearing would continue on March 7. The NCLT would then also hear an application filed by the two firms seeking waiver of certain requirements as to eligibility for filing a petition.

Tata Sons opposed the petitions, saying as per a Supreme Court order on the Companies Act, the petitioners were not eligible to file such petitions before the NCLT as the minority shareholders.

The Mistry firms pleaded that under the Act, NCLT can waive the requirement that a petitioner should hold at least one-tenth of the ‘issued share capital’ of the company, or represent at least one-tenth of the minority shareholders.

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Tata Sons argued that if preference capital is also considered, the two petitioner firms hold only 2.17 per cent of the total issued share capital of Tata Sons.

The Companies Act also says these conditions can be waived, but the Tata Sons’ lawyers said as the petitioners did not seek waiver at the time of filing the petitions, they can not seek such a leave later.

In December 2016, the two Mistry firms challenged before NCLT Cyrus Mistry’s unceremonious removal by Tata Sons as a director of its board. The petitions alleged mismanagement at Tata Sons and oppression of minority shareholders.

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