Tata Sons refutes Cyrus Mistry’s allegations on AirAsia

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Mumbai: Tata Sons Ltd, the holding firm of the $103 billion Tata group, on Wednesday said it strongly rejects the statement from Cyrus P. Mistry “which seeks to insinuate wrongdoing in the affairs of AirAsia India by R. Venkataramanan”.

On the contrary, it added, AirAsia India with the support of Tata Sons, has taken definitive steps both in civil and criminal courts that have cleared the air in relation to the allegations made by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group companies in the National Company Law tribunal (NCLT) proceedings.

It termed the allegations by Mistry frivolous, even as it denied that any conduct that could be said to be oppressive or resulting in mismanagement. It called the allegations by Mistry and the SP Group as “value destructive”.

Tony Fernandes-promoted AirAsia Bhd, through AirAsia Investment Ltd, owns 49% in AirAsia India. The Tata group owns 49%, and two directors of AirAsia India—S. Ramadorai and R. Venkataramanan—hold the rest. Tata Sons further stated, “It is ironical that Mistry continues to make statements that his actions are in the interest of the Tata group. On the contrary, his actions thus far have consistently harmed the reputation of the Tata group. Tata Sons continues to evaluate its legal options in this regard. Tata Sons has the highest respect for the judiciary and has never resorted to “muzzle and interfere with legal proceedings”, as alleged by Mistry.”

Mistry’s statement was in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by Venkataramanan against Mistry and his family firms which was admitted by Mumbai Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

Mistry and the firms—Cyrus Investments Pvt. Ltd and Sterling Investments Pvt. Ltd—will have to face trial on charges of criminal defamation under sections 499, 500 and 501 of the Indian Penal Code and appear before the court on 24 August.