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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Opinion | A nudge by the SC

A three-judge Supreme Court bench asks Nusli Wadia and Ratan Tata to find a solution outside the court

A defamation case filed by Wadia Group chairman Nusli Wadia against Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata took an unusual turn on Monday. A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde asked why the two industrialists can’t find a solution outside the court. “You both are mature people. You both are leaders of industry. Why don’t you both settle the matter? Why don’t you sit together and resolve your differences? Do you all need to pursue litigation like this?"

Wadia had alleged criminal defamation by Tata when he was removed from the Tata Sons board in the wake of the 2016 ouster of Cyrus Mistry as chairman. The legal aspects of the case apart, the top court’s observations suggest a degree of exasperation with eminent business leaders burdening it with disputes that do not necessarily require adjudication. This is understandable, given the sheer number of cases of far greater consequence currently pending before the judiciary. If the court’s nudge works, well and good. But, so long as laws exist, everybody has a right to seek recourse to them, regardless of the maturity and stature of those involved.

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