Mumbai: Tata Sons Ltd has sent a legal notice to its ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry, accusing him of making public confidential and sensitive information through a petition he filed last week and violating confidentiality undertakings with the intent of causing harm to the group.
The legal notice opens up another front in the feud between Mistry and Tata Sons, reinforcing the perception that there will be no early end to the battle underway since Mistry’s 24 October sacking.
Last week, Mistry’s family-controlled firms Cyrus Investments Pvt. Ltd and Sterling Investment Corp. Pvt. Ltd filed a petition at the National Company Law Tribunal, alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement of Tata Sons. The petition had email exchanges and minutes of board meetings as exhibits.
It made far-ranging allegations against Tata Sons, Ratan Tata and some of his friends and associates, citing corporate governance violations, possible breach of insider trading regulations and imprudence and lack of probity in certain business decisions.
The legal notice, sent by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., said the Mistry family firms had “deliberately included” in their petition confidential data, business strategies, financial information pertaining to business affairs of Tata Sons, Tata group companies, and joint ventures.
“By passing on confidential information accessed by you in your capacity as a director of Tata Sons to companies owned and controlled by your family i.e., the petitioners you have acted in complete violation of your confidentiality undertakings to Tata Sons, your fiduciary duties towards Tata Sons and your obligations under the Tata Code of Conduct,” it said.
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The notice warned that Tata Sons intends to exercise all legal rights and pursue all remedies available under law in relation to such a “breach”.
Mistry has failed in discharging his legal duties as a director of Tata Sons, the notice said. Mistry is still a non-executive director on the holding company’s board.
The notice said Mistry’s actions had exposed the Tatas to potential claims from third parties and that “our client has every intention to make you liable for such claims”.
A Tata Sons spokesperson declined comment. Mistry’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.
“There is nothing confidential that restricts a litigation. When parties have to get a court to decide they have to give the court everything that is relevant. It is only those who fear facts contained in the record who would want to suppress the record. An appropriate response is being sent,” said Sumit Agrawal, a partner at Suvan Law Advisors, who is advising Mistry.