Ratan Tata accuses Mistry of creating 'smokescreen' of oppression

New Delhi (IANS) Hitting back on Cyrus Mistry's allegations, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has said that Mistry has created a smokescreen of oppression and mismanagement.

In his rejoinder affidavit filed in the Supreme Court countering the affidavit filed by former Tata Sons Chairman Mistry, Ratan Tata said that the issues raised by Mistry were about the personal grievance of the loss of office and as the grievance has its legal limitations, he has created this smokescreen to gain legal mileage.

"Knowing well the limitation of such a grievance -- which at the highest could be a directorial dispute or an employment dispute -- Cyrus Mistry has created a smokescreen of 'oppression and mismanagement' around it," Ratan Tata said.

He said that Mistry was appointed by the Board of Chairmen in 2012 following an assessment by the Selection Committee and the same board four years later decided, in near unanimity, to replace him from the position.

He noted that Mistry was initially requested to step down from the position.

"This was a dignified way in which responsible Boards handle such decisions and how mature business leaders, despite personal disagreement with such decisions one might have, accept such decisions with grace," Tata's rejoinder said.

However, Mistry declined the request and a resolution then had to be brought before the Board to remove him which was passed with near unanimity.

Ratan Tata said that Mistry's grievance that no reason was recorded in the minutes of the board meeting in support of the resolution passed by the Tata Sons board October 24, 2016 was not true.

He said that Mistry had become a 'Trojan Horse' in the way he showed deep hostility and personal animosity towards the majority shareholders and against some of the past and serving directors.

Mistry is fighting a legal battle against Tata Sons over his ouster from the group. He is also seeking proportional board representation as the largest shareholder in Tata Sons.

Last December, the NCLAT had ordered the reinstatement of Mistry as Tata Sons Chairman. However, Mistry later said that he was not pursuing Tata Sons' top position, but would fight for the rights of minority shareholders of Tata Sons.

In February, Mistry, however, moved the Supreme Court saying his family -- the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which holds 18.33 per cent stake in Tata Sons -- deserved more relief from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

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