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'Mistry cornered power, brought ill-repute in DoCoMo spat'

New Delhi

03-January-2020

Cyrus Mistry was seen concentrating authority in his own hands alienating the (Tata Sons) board of the company even on matters relating to the Tata operating companies where the company had huge financial exposure and the spat with Japanese telecom partner DoCoMo brought ill-repute and reputational losses to Tata Sons, Tata Sons chief Ratan Tata said in his petition to the Supreme Court on Friday.

Ratan Tata approached the Supreme Court to challenge the NCLAT ruling a day after Tata Sons moved the Supreme Court against the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order favouring Mistry's return.

IANS has reviewed the petition filed by Ratan Tata.

In his plea, Tata said the findings of the Appellate Tribunal were "wrong, erroneous, contrary to the record of the case and required consideration by the Supreme Court," Tata said in the petition.

Launching a scathing attack on Mistry, Tata said Mistry of his own free volition reached out to Ratan Tata and Noshir A. Soonawala repeatedly, seeking their guidance in relation to the conduct of the affairs of Tata Sons, as also the operating companies.

"During this time, Cyrus Mistry was also seen concentrating authority in his own hands and alienating the Board of the Company even on matters relating to the Tata Operating Companies where the Company had huge financial exposure and the Board of the Company had to contend with such decisions being cast upon it as fait accompli," Tata said.

Tata has contested the order that held him guilty of oppression and mismanagement without giving an explanation on any actual or legal ground.

"The (NCLAT's) judgment is also infirm because it blatantly indulges in propagating a selective narrative where relevant facts and record have been glossed over, submissions made by the appellant and other respondents have been ignored and if noticed then are not been dealt with in the impugned judgment," the petition said.

"The pretense of reasoning and judicial approach is betrayed by omission to consider the record itself," Tata said in his plea.

He further stated that it was very unfortunate and distressing that the judgment, without providing any proper evidence, passed adverse remarks against the appellant (Tata) who has spent more than half his life in building the reputation of Tata Sons and other Tata operating companies.

Tata also accused Mistry of bringing disrepute to the brand of Tatas.

A glaring example of Mistry's lack of leadership skills with which "It was during Mistry's tenure that Tata Sons reneged on its word with DoCoMo under the agreement citing purely legal and technical arguments. Even after an adverse verdict was delivered in the arbitration, Mistry showed complete obstinacy and attempted to resist complying with the legal obligations further," said the petition.

"This is not what the Tata Sons brand stands for. Quite to the contrary, honouring its commitments is one of Tata Sons' highest virtues it takes great pride in. The spat with DoCoMo, which was widely covered by the press, brought ill-repute and reputational losses to Tata Sons," it further added.

On Mistry's other decisions as Tata Sons chairman, Ratan Tata also raised questions.

"Cyrus Mistry also failed to timely capitalise on business opportunities when they presented themselves and Tata Sons' financial performance, under his tenure, was also deeply unsatisfactory. All of the above, gradually lead to a complete loss of trust in the ability of Mr Cyrus Mistry to lead Tata Sons from the front and for the future," he said, adding this is evident from the instances of Tata Motors' rights issues and the Welspun transaction.IANS