Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata and Tata Sons on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea of the Sapoorji Pallonji (SP) group seeking a review of the verdict that upheld the Tata group’s removal of Cyrus Mistry as Chairman of Tata Sons.
Reacting to the development, in a statement Tata, who is the Chairman Emeritus said, “We would like to express our grateful appreciation of the judgement passed and upheld by the Supreme Court today.” He further said, “It reinforces the value systems and ethics of our judiciary.” In a separate statement Tata Sons said: “We welcome today’s order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court with humility. It reaffirms, once again, Tata Group’s position which was upheld by a unanimous judgment last year.
The company also reiterated “its commitment to work towards nation building, and maintaining standards of governance and ethical conduct that have guided Tata Group in all its businesses over the years.” The apex court on Thursday dismissed a plea of the SP group seeking a review of the 2021 verdict which had upheld the Tata group’s decision to remove Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the Tata Sons.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, however, ordered the deletion of certain remarks made against Cyrus Mistry in the March 2021 verdict.
Mistry, who took over the reins of the Tata Group from Ratan Tata in 2012, was ousted as Chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016 as “the board of Tata Sons lost confidence in him and his ability to lead the Tata Group in future”.
Following his removal, boardroom battles played out with Mistry being removed as director in several listed and unlisted entities of the group, including TCS, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Indian Hotels Co Ltd, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power, Tata Teleservices and Tata Industries.
Two Mistry family backed investment firms, Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd and Sterling Investments Corporation Pvt Ltd, moved NCLT Mumbai, alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement by Tata Sons, while also challenging Mistry’s removal.
When NCLT Mumbai dismissed the pleas of the two Mistry family backed firms, they moved the NCLAT, which restored Mistry as executive chairman of Tata Sons, but suspended its implementation for four weeks in order to provide time for Tatas to appeal.
Then on January 2, 2020, Tata Sons challenged the NCLAT decision of December 18, 2019 before the Supreme Court. On March 26, 2021, the SC delivered its verdict, allowing Tata Group’s appeals and sets aside the NCLAT order restoring Mistry as executive chairman of the Group.