The clash between Cyrus Mistry and Ratan Tata has been one of the most high-profile and publicly fought corporate battles in India.
The Supreme Court today is expected to deliver its judgement on the cross-appeals filed by Tata Sons and Cyrus Investments against the company law tribunal order which had restored Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the over $100 billion salt-to-software Tata Group after a dramatic ouster in 2016.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde is likely to give the verdict, according to listings on the Supreme Court website. The bench, also including Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, had on December 17 last year reserved the verdict.
Shapoorji Pallonji Group had told the top court on the day that the removal of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons in a board meeting held in October 2016 was like a “blood sport” and “ambush” and was in complete violation of principles of corporate governance and pervasive violation of Articles of Association in the process.
One of India’s largest and oldest conglomerates with interests stretching from technology and steel to automobiles, Tata Group had vehemently opposed the allegations and said there was no wrongdoing and the board was well within its rights to remove Mr Mistry as the chairman.
The top court had on January 10 last year granted relief to Tata Group by staying the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order of December 18, 2019, by which Mr Mistry was restored as the executive chairman of the conglomerate.
Mr Mistry had succeeded Ratan Tata as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012 but was ousted four years later. The clash between Mr Mistry and Ratan Tata has been one of the most high-profile and publicly fought corporate battles in India.
Tata Sons had earlier told the top court that it was not a “two-group company” and there was no “quasi-partnership” between it and Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd.
In his reply to the Tatas’ petition challenging his reinstatement by the NCLAT last December, Mr Mistry had also demanded that group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata should reimburse all the expenses to Tata Sons since his departure in December 2012 in keeping with best global governance standards.
Mr Mistry is seeking representation in the company in proportion to the 18.37 per cent stake held by his family, the cross-appeal has said.
(With inputs from PTI)