NCLT judges say Tatas to sail through “devastating storm”


MUMBAI: Tata Group is going through excruciating time because of the boardroom battle with Cyrus Mistry but the salt-to-software conglomerate will keep journeying through the devastating storm, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) judges wrote in their order on Monday that disqualified the former chairman’s firms petition on grounds of insufficient shareholding.

The two-member bench comprising of judges BSV Prakash Kumar and V. Nallasenapathy ruled that Mistry family’s firms aren’t qualified to file a petition alleging mismanagement of Tata Sons and oppression of minority shareholders as they do not meet requirement of owning at least 10% of Tata Sons’ total share capital.

“Tata Sons is a driving force and funding machine to all its subsidiaries spread all over the world,” the judges wrote. “These days trying time has come for Tata, perhaps to hold out that it keeps journeying no matter how devastating the storm is – it waded through British India regime, and then successfully hosted in sovereign India.”

The judges said that rural India may not know Tata as a company but everybody knows Tata salt, Tata tea and Tata car as it is a household name in India. They added that no one has any dislike or disrespect to this “untiring provider”.

“Nobody knows when problem comes, now problem has come upon TATA which everybody knows in India, there can’t be anyone who has not experienced the product of Tata,” the judges wrote in their order on Monday. “Salt to software, it has seasoned this country with all spheres and makes its presence felt all over the world.”

Mistry was removed as chairman of Tata Sons after the board said it had lost confidence in his leadership. The unexpected ouster led to a public spat between Mistry and the Tata group in which both sides accused the each other of poor corporate governance practices and business decisions.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) adjourned the hearing on waiver application on Tuesday by Cyrus Mistry’s family firms until March 17 as Tata Sons’ legal counsel sought more time to argue his case.