Tata Sons asks Cyrus Mistry to return all confidential papers


Tata Sons on Thursday asked Cyrus Mistry, the ousted chairman of the Tata group holding company, to return all classified papers and sign an undertaking within 48 hours that he would not disclose such information in future.

In its second legal notice in three days, Tata Sons alleged that Mistry had “wrongfully and dishonestly” taken confidential information out of the company premises without consent. It asked Mistry to “immediately return to the company all confidential information” in his possession and “not retain copies” of the same. Tata Sons also asked Mistry to sign an undertaking within 48 hours that he “shall preserve the confidentiality of all the confidential information and not use or disclose” to anyone, including affiliates, relatives and family members.

Reacting to the Tata notice, a statement from the office of Cyrus Mistry said: “The Tata letter, termed a ‘notice’, is a request not to draw the attention of courts and tribunals to documents and records on the ground that they are “confidential” in nature. Neither will we comment in public nor will we provide our correspondence to the media to make news. We will keep focus on the real and core issues in the relevant forums alone.”

“That their letters claiming confidentiality have been widely circulated to the media is ironical. We believe such conduct is unbecoming and interferes with justice administration. For the record, the affidavit that Cyrus Mistry had to file by today has been filed in the National Company Law Tribunal,” Mistry’s statement said.

On December 27, Tata Sons had slapped a legal notice on Cyrus Mistry accusing him of breaching confidentiality rules by making public sensitive company documents including minutes of board meetings, financial information and data. In a two-page legal notice from its law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Tata Sons alleged that Mistry had “deliberately” attached confidential information related to the company to his petition, even without “any requirement to do so.” The information included confidential data, business strategies and financial information pertaining to the conglomerate, and its inclusion has resulted in a criminal breach of trust, the notice alleged.

“Not only have you breached your legal duties as a director, but you have acted recklessly with the sole intent to cause harm and loss to our Client,” the notice alleged. “By passing on confidential and sensitive information accessed by you in your capacity as a Director of Tata Sons to companies owned and controlled by your family, you have acted in complete violation of your confidentiality undertaking to Tata Sons, your fiduciary duties towards Tata Sons and your obligations under the Tata code of conduct,” it alleged.

In the second notice served through its law firm on Thursday, Tata Sons said Mistry was privy to confidential and commercially sensitive information and documents in his capacity as executive chairman and director of the company and its operating firms. “Under applicable low, you are duty-bound to (a) preserve the confidentiality of all such information and data that you are privy to in your capacity as director and (b) not disclose or use such information for any purpose whatsoever,” it said adding any breach of such legal duties would cause irreparable harm and injury to Tata Sons.