In a major turn in the Tata-Mistry saga, Cyrus Mistry on Sunday said that he would not take up the chairmanship of Tata Sons or become director of any Tata Group company but pursue all options to protect the Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s rights as minority stakeholder, including a seat at the Tata Sons’ Board.
He said that his decision has been made in the interests of the Tata Group, “whose interests are far more important than the interests of any individual”.
“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.
“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 said, in a statement.
To recent media reports attributed to Ratan Tata and others questioning the NCLAT judgment ahead of an hearing in the Supreme Court, he contended these “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,” he added.
Mistry said that the founding fathers of the Tata Group had laid a strong ethical foundation that cared for all stakeholders and 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.”
The statement comes just days after Tata Sons and it Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata moved the Supreme Court challenging the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s December verdict which ordered the reinstatement of Mistry as the Chairman of Tata Sons.
Ratan Tata, in the petition filed in the top court on January 3, had said that that the appellate tribunal’s verdict was “erroneous” and it “pulled down” the governance and corporate structure of the group.
On Mistry’s replacement as the Chairman of Tata Sons, he told the apex court in his petition that the relationship between Mistry and Tata Trusts had become discordant and it was felt by Tata Trusts that he could not provide robust leadership to Tata Sons in future.
Mistry was appointed as the sixth chairman of Tata Group in 2012 but ousted on October 24, 2016.