The Cyrus Mistry’s family firms – Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd and Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd – on Thursday moved the National Company law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) seeking a stay on the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called by Tata Sons on February 6 to consider removal of Cyrus Mistry from the Board of Tata Group’s holding company.
They also want to restrain Tata Sons “from taking steps of any nature or initiating action of any nature, directly or indirectly” to remove Mistry as a director of Tata Sons. Mistry was sacked on October 24, in one of most shocking boardroom coups in India Inc. The matter is coming up for hearing on Friday.
The 20 respondents named in the petition include Tata Sons Ltd, its director and interim chairman, Ratan Tata, directors Amit Ranbir Chandra, Ishaat Hussain, Ajay Gopikisan Piramal, Venu Srinivasan, Nitin Nohria, Ranendra Sen, Vijay Singh and Farida Dara Khambata, Jaguar Land Rover CEO and Additional Director of Tata Sons Ralf Speth, Tata Sons additional director N. Chandrasekaran and others.
Challenging the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) order of January 18 and January 31 that refused to grant a stay on the Tata Sons EGM on February 6, the companies said the impugned order of January 18 did not at all deal with the stay application on merits and only set out the tribunal’s views on the contempt of court.
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Earlier in January, Mistry’s companies had moved to NCLT alleging contempt of court by Tata Sons, alleging the company had violated the court’s directives by initiating procedure to oust Mistry from Tata Sons board. Mistry’s family firms, which hold 18.4% of Tata Sons equity, first moved to NCLT in December against Tata Sons board, its directors including interim chairman Ratan Tata, two of the Tata Trusts and its trustees for “oppressing” minority shareholders and “mismanagement”.
While adjouring the case for February 13 and 14, the tribunal on Tuesday had said that Mistry firms’ refusal to argue the main petition against Tata Sons’ alleged oppression of minority rights was nothing but disobedience of the court. The Mumbai tribunal will hear the counter arguments by Tata Sons on February 20 and 21.