Mistry moves NCLT, seeks jail for Tata

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Two investment firms owned by the family of Cyrus Mistry (in pic) have filed a contempt application at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Tata Sons and its directors, alleging violation of the tribunal's order in initiating steps to remove him from the board. The contempt application has sought punishment for Ratan Tata, other directors of Tata Sons and trustees of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Sir Dorabjee Trust — NA Soonawala, RK Krishnakumar and R Venkatramana — with “simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months” or fine of Rs 2,000 or both. Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investment sought an injunction against Tata Sons from “convening or holding of the EGM scheduled on February 6, 2017 or any other date or from transacting any business thereat.”

The application alleged that the respondents have “comm­itted a breach” of the NCLT order passed on December 22, 2016 by issuing a special notice on January 3, 2017 for removal of Mistry as a director from the board of Tata Sons.” NCLT has stated that the respondents will not “initiate any action or proce­edings over this subject matter pending disposal of this company petition,” the contempt application claimed.

“It is submitted that if the EGM is allowed to be held the same would also constitute a deliberate and contumacious breach of the aforesaid dated December 22, 2016 and all those participating in and voting at such meting would also be guilty of contempt.”

“It is therefore absolutely just, necessary and convenient that respondent number one (Tata Sons) be restrained by an order and injunction of this tribunal from convening or holding such a meeting or from transacting any business thereat”.

Last week, Tata Sons had called a shareholders’ meeting on February 6 to remove Mistry as director of the holding company of the $103 billion Tata Group.

Reacting to the contempt plea, a Tata Group spoke­sperson said, “There is no contempt. We will make our submissions to the NCLT.”

Tata Sons removed Mistry as its chairman on October 24 and sought his ouster from operating companies like Tata Motors and Tata Consultancy Services.

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