Tatas hail SC ruling in Mistry case; say judgement validates group's ethics, governance standards

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and Tata Sons on Friday hailed the order by Supreme Court in the legal battle against ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry as a validation of the conglomerate's values and governance standards.

The apex court order set aside an NCLAT order restoring Mistry as the executive chairman of the conglomerate, while allowing appeals filed by the Tata Group.

Reacting to the development, Ratan Tata in a social media post said, 'It is not an issue of winning or losing'.

Appreciating the judgement passed by the Supreme Court, he said, 'After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgement upholding all the appeals of Tata Sons is a validation of the values and the ethics that have always been the guiding principle of the group.' He further said, 'It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary.' Tata Sons, the holding firm of the Tata group companies, said the order of Supreme Court vindicates its position and upholds the governance standards adopted by the conglomerate over the years.

'The judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court vindicates the position of Tata Sons and upholds the governance standards adopted by the Tata Group over the years. Tata Sons is grateful to the Hon'ble Supreme Court,' Tata Sons said in a statement.

It further said,'Tata Group remains deeply committed to continue its efforts towards development of the nation and building the business keeping the long-term interest of shareholders and the community at large.' A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said it is allowing the appeals filed by the Tata Group.

The court said, 'All the questions of law are liable to be answered in favour of the appellants Tata Group and the appeals filed by the Tata Group are liable to be allowed and those by Shapoorji Pallonji Group are liable to be dismissed.' The apex court had on January 10 last year granted relief to the Tatas by staying the NCLAT order by which Mistry was restored as the executive chairman of the conglomerate.

Mistry had succeeded Tata as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012 but was ousted four years later, after which bitter legal battles followed.

Days after the ouster, Tata had explained to shareholders of group firms that Mistry was replaced as chairman on October 24, 2016 'because the board of Tata Sons lost confidence in him and his ability to lead the Tata Group in future'.

He also had stated that the board felt that Mistry's removal was 'absolutely necessary' for the future success of the group.

On the other hand, Mistry, who termed his sacking as an 'illegal coup', alleged that his ouster was aimed to cut short his 'attempt to bring about reform' at the Tata group.

Mistry had raised issues related to corporate governance and transparency, including alleged Rs 22 crore fraudulent transactions involving non-existent entities in India and Singapore in Tatas' joint venture with Air Asia.

He also repeatedly questioned the role of Tata Trusts in the running of Tata Sons, the promoter company of major operating firms of the conglomerate.

'I have treated Ratan Tata with the respect and dignity that he can command. Indeed, a retired chairman can always feel that his 'legacy' is under threat.

'But a retired chairman can also move on without feeling insecure about his legacy and have the emotional stature to know that what was once a right decision at one point in time may not be a right decision at another point in time,' Mistry had said. PTI RKL ABM ABM