Cyrus Mistry has moved the Supreme Court with a plea to expunge adverse remarks against him in the verdict delivered by the top court on March 26, 2021 in the legal tiff between him and the Tata group. The bench of chief justice NV Ramana has adjourned the matter, saying that the apex court will hear the parties after 10 days.
Senior advocates Janak Dwarkadas and Shyam Diwan appeared for Mistry in the matter. Tata group was represented by senior counsels Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and a team of lawyers from Karanjawala & Co.
Advocates representing Mistry, on his behalf, appealed for expunging the certain remarks affecting his reputation, integrity and character, reports said. Tata Sons’ advocates, however, challenged the maintainability of the application.
This plea by Mistry comes almost two weeks after a three-judge Supreme Bench, led by CJI Ramana and justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian agreed to hold an oral hearing following a review petition by Shapoorji Pallonji Group against the March 2021 verdict. In a two-to-one ruling on February 15, the bench had listed the matter for hearing on March 9.
CJI Ramana and Justice Bopanna allowed the applications seeking oral hearing of the review petitions and exemption from filing affidavits.
However, Justice Ramasubramanian dissented, arguing, “The grounds raised in the review petitions do not fall within the parameters of a review and hence the applications seeking oral hearing deserve to be dismissed.”
Tata Sons and Cyrus Mistry had been engaged in a bitter battle in courts since the latter’s ouster. Mistry took over as Tata Sons’ chairperson in December 2012 but was removed from the post by the board of directors in October 2016. During an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in February 2017, shareholders too voted for Mistry’s removal. N. Chandrasekaran was appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons.
Two Shapoorji Pallonji firms, who held a stake in Tata Sons, moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) over Mistry’s removal, alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement. The tribunal dismissed the appeal in July 2018, following which the matter was raised in the appellate tribunal.
In December 2019, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had termed the Tata Sons’ board proceedings in October 2016 removing Mistry as the chairman as illegal, reinstating him to the position. Both Tata Sons and Shapoorji Pallonji Group had challenged this ruling in the Supreme Court. The former claimed that the appellate court granted reliefs outside the Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s plea by reinstating Mistry and terming Chandrasekaran’s appointment illegal.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group stated in their appeals that the NCLAT failed to give certain crucial reliefs to Mistry. They prayed that Mistry should be entitled to representation in all committees formed by the board of Tata Sons. It also contested placing the right to affirmative vote with certain directors of Tata Sons that allows them to override the entire board.
In its March 26, 2021 judgement, the Supreme Court had set aside the NCLAT order. The top court had also answered all legal questions in the dispute in favour of Tata Sons, bringing the dispute with Mistry to an end. The bench of then Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde and Justices Bopanna and Ramasubramanian had allowed the appeals by Tata Sons challenging the NCLAT order and dismissed the appeals filed by Cyrus Mistry and Shapoorji Pallonji Group.