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NCLAT allows Cyrus Mistry to file case against Tata Sons

21 September 2017

Thereafter, alleging mismanagement at the firm and oppression of minority shareholders, he dragged Tata Sons to the tribunal.

"We will continue to pursue highest standards of corporate governance and demand complete transparency of the group for the benefit of all the millions of shareholders, and indeed, the employees of the Tata Group companies".

The move to convert Tata Sons into a private limited company would put restrictions on "free transferability" of shares of the company and is "yet another attempt by the majority shareholders to oppress minority shareholders", it added.

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Through his firms, Mistry owns around 18 per cent of equity shares in Tata Sons.

In what could be the first victory for Tata Sons ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday granted special waiver to Cyrus Mistry family firms to file a case against Tata Group holding company, Tata Sons.

Mistry moved the NCALT after the NCLT denied him relief, which has now directed the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal to issue notice to the respondents and proceed in the matter.

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After his ouster from Tata Sons a year ago, Mistry lost his board seat, and accordingly his power to control decisions of Tata Group companies got curtailed further.

Tata Sons' shareholders have also passed a proposal to give voting rights to preferential shareholders if the holding company has not been able to pay dividends for a period of two years or more. Pursuant to the dismissal of the maintainability plea, the NCLT had heard a waiver application by the two Mistry firms. Now that the company has gone from public to private limited, Tata Sons will not need board approval for taking crucial decisions. "The NCLT in its order on March 6 had accepted Tata Sons" counsel A M Singhvi's arguments that the company petition was not maintainable in law since the petitioning shareholders lacked the requisite 10 per cent of issued share capital that legally entitles them to drag Tata Sons to court. At least 75 per cent of shareholders' nod was required for the proposal to go through.

Mistry had argued in the tribunal's appellate body that preference share should not be counted for calculating the minimum shareholding needed to file a petition with the tribunal.

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NCLAT allows Cyrus Mistry to file case against Tata Sons