Not looking to trade any charges with Cyrus Mistry: Ratan Tata2 min read . Updated: 05 Aug 2020, 08:13 AM IST
- Mistry investment firms filed a petition in December 2016 alleging oppression and mismanagement at Tata Sons
- Ratan Tata added that Cyrus Mistry was appointed to lead the group and not to act as a critic
Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has told the Supreme Court that he is no longer willing to trade charges with his former protege Cyrus Mistry over the past record of the Tata Group, which he maintained is for everyone to see and judge.
“I say this with all the humility at my command that if this case is an appraisal of my performance and what I did for Tata group during my tenure, then it is for others to decide. I would respectfully bow out of such a debate. At this stage of my life, I would not seek to defend or seek endorsement of my performance," Tata said in his latest affidavit.
In the court filing on 3 August, Tata, who chairs the Tata Trust, said that Mistry was appointed chairman of Tata Sons Ltd to lead the Tata group into the future and not to merely act as a critic of the past. “Questioning decisions of the past by looking at them through the lens of short-term returns and calling them “value destroying", Mr Cyrus Mistry forgets that Tata leaders are not known to criticize the past, but to do something meaningful for the future," Tata said in the affidavit, reviewed by Mint. The Tata group and Shapoorji Pallonji group through its two investment firms, are embroiled in a protracted legal battle after Mistry was sacked as chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016.
Mistry investment firms filed a petition in December 2016 alleging oppression and mismanagement at Tata Sons. In December 2019, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had ruled in favour of Mistry firms. Since his sacking, Mistry has made several allegations against Tata Sons and Ratan Tata, which include oppression of minority shareholder rights and operational mismanagement of the group. Among other things, Mistry firms in their court filings have alleged that he had to deal with legacy ‘hot spots’ which became a drag on Tata group companies’ balance sheets. Responding to allegations of mismanagement, Tata in the latest filling said that over the decades, Tata Group was known to pioneer industries and lead them in good times and bad, rather than describing businesses in difficult times as ‘hot spots’.
“Mr Cyrus Mistry has ridiculed certain endeavours during my tenure as decisions taken for “emotional" reasons. Since Mr. Mistry has been associated with the Tata Group in the past, he should know the foundation of the Tata Group – or for that matter, the fact that any sincere entrepreneurial endeavour – is built on emotion and passion and not on short-term profits and returns alone," he added.
Mistry had also alleged that the Tata Sons board meeting, which decided his dismissal, did not record the reason for his removal as the chairman.
“He should know that Tata companies follow certain decorum and even most unpleasant decisions are conveyed in a dignified manner because such decisions are never personal. The decision to replace him was no exception; in fact, it demanded all the more care and sensitivity in how it is conveyed and recorded. That is why he was initially requested to step down on his own," said Ratan Tata.