SC to pronounce verdict in Tata-Mistry dispute on Friday

New Delhi: The long-drawn legal battle between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry has reached its finality, as the Supreme Court on Friday will pronounce its verdict on the cross-appeals by Tata Sons and Cyrus Investments challenging the NCLAT order, which restored Mistry as the Executive Chairman of the Tata conglomerate.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, will pronounce the verdict at 11 a.m. on Friday. The court had reserved the verdict on December 17 last year.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Tata Sons, had submitted that Mistry walked away from the board on October 24, 2016 and later wrote a nasty email. Senior advocate C. A. Sundaram, representing Cyrus Investments, rebutted it, saying that he was removed and had not walked away.

On the final hearing in the matter, Tatas had pointed out that Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group’s case on quasi-partnership is a misrepresentation of facts and a fiction that they have peddled before the court.

Tata Group denied that Tata Sons is a partnership between the Tatas and the Mistrys and argued that the latter’s status is that of an investor and they have got huge returns. “They don’t have any special rights under the company’s articles,” Salve had said.

Salve had also submitted that there should be a “selection committee” to “unselect” a person is “nonsensical”. “A selection committee selects and recommends a candidate for the position of Chairman. However, the removal can only be done by the Board because only the Board is privy to the incumbent Chairman’s work and can take a decision on removal,” he argued.

The SP Group counsel argued that Mistry was removed because he was going to place a draft governance structure at the Board meeting on October 24, 2016.


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