Photo: Hemant Mishra/ Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/ Mint

From Singur to DoCoMo, Tata’s legal troubles this year

A list of Tata Group's major legal troubles over the last few months

New Delhi: The year has been a big one for the Tatas, especially in courts—from the Singur decision to the arbitration with Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, verdicts have gone against the conglomerate.

At a time when Tata Sons Ltd faces the threat of legal action (the company has filed caveats in the Supreme Court, Delhi high court and the National Company Law Tribunal anticipating law suits), here’s a list of the company’s legal troubles over the last few months.

SC verdict on Singur land acquisition for Tata Motor plant

The apex court on 31 August declared the land acquired by the Left front government in West Bengal for a Tata Motor plant illegal. The ruling, however, impacted the West Bengal politics more than it did Tata Motors.

The spokesperson for Tata Motors said the verdict delivered wasn’t on their plea.

The land was set aside for the Nano plant, which ousted chairperson of Tata Sons Cyrus Mistry said should be closed down for being unprofitable. The only reason for still producing the Nano was emotional, he said in a letter to the board of Tata Sons directors on Wednesday. Read More

Tata-DoCoMo arbitration

That the Tata group has to pay $1.17 billion to Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo has been in the news after it lost the arbitration proceedings being held in London in June for breach of its contractual obligations. DoCoMo moved the Delhi high court for enforcing the award. The case is pending, and the Tata group has claimed that Reserve Bank of India guidelines are preventing the payout.

Mistry’s letter also speaks about the Tata telecom business and says that its shutdown will cost around $4-5 billion. Read More

Taj Mahal hotel auction

The Delhi high court is scheduled to rule on the auction of the Taj Mahal hotel run by the Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, a Tata group subsidiary. On 5 September, justice V. Kameshwar Rao ruled that there was no automatic extension of the licence given to IHCL for running the hotel and allowed the auctioning of the hotel.

Mistry, in his letter dated 25 October, also pointed fingers at the unprofitable IHCL and said that it has written down its entire networth in the last three years. Read More