New Delhi– Despite the NCLAT ruling in his favour, Cyrus Mistry said on Sunday that he is not pursuing the Tata Sons’ top position but targeted Chairman emeritus Ratan Tata on multiple counts, including for ignoring the rights of minority shareholders and “oppressive and prejudicial conduct” in removing him.
In a statement, Mistry said: “To dispel the misinformation campaign being conducted, I intend to make it clear that despite the NCLAT order in my favour, I will not be pursuing the executive chairmanship of Tata Sons, or directorship of TCS, Tata Teleservices or Tata Industries.”
He targeted Ratan Tata for “supporting brute majoritarianism” in corporate democracies.
“Recent media reports attributed to Mr Ratan Tata and others questioning the NCLAT judgment ahead of an important hearing in the Supreme Court, profess an interpretation of Corporate Democracy as being one of brute majoritarianism with no rights for minority stakeholders. The question in these legal proceedings is whether the oppressive actions of a majority that stifles minority shareholders is beyond reproach and outside judicial oversight.”
Mistry also questioned the conduct of the Tata group and asked them “to introspect”.
“In the last three years, both in conduct and in their statements to the world at large, the Tata Group’s leadership has shown scant respect for the rights of minority shareholders. It is time the Group’s management introspects and reflects on its conduct as it embarks on future actions.”
Mistry also hit out at Ratan Tata for “oppressive and prejudicial conduct”.
“I am humbled by the NCLAT order, which after review of the enormous material on record, recognized the illegal manner in which I was removed and the oppressive and prejudicial conduct of Mr Tata and other Trustees.”
While Mistry will not take up positions in the Tata group, he added that he will, however, “vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder”.
Though there had been some speculation on whether he would pursue the Tata reinstatement, Mistry’s statement came in the backdrop of an NCLAT order that reinstated him on the Tata Sons’ board and termed the appointment of N Chandrasekaran as the executive chairman “illegal”.
Tata Sons, the conglomerate’s patriarch, Ratan Tata, and its flagship company, Tata Consultancy Services, have all filed separate appeals against the order in the Supreme Court.
“I will however vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder, including that of resuming the thirty-year history of a seat at the Board of Tata Sons and the incorporation of the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency at Tata Sons,” he added. Mistry has indicated he will continue the fight for the rights of minority shareholders.
Mistry said that his legal battle against Tata Sons was never about him, but rather to protect the rights of minority shareholders. He said that the Shapoorji Pallonji Group has been with the Tata group for the past decades and it is in his family’s interest to secure the group’s interests.
Evoking the history of the Tata group, Mistry said that the founding fathers had laid an ethical foundation and cared for minority stakeholders.
“The founding fathers of the Tata Group had laid a strong ethical foundation that cared for all stakeholders. The relationship between the Tata Group and the Shapoorji Pallonji Group is one spanning multiple decades that was built on common agreement and mutual faith. Former Tata leaders worked together with the minority partner to create value for all stakeholders”. (IANS)