New Delhi: Cyrus Mistry on Sunday said that he will not be pursuing the executive chairmanship of Tata Sons or directorship of TCS, Tata Teleservices or Tata Industries, but “will, however, vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder.”
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. 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”.
Mistry’s statement comes days after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) gave a judgment on December 18 last year to restore him as the Executive Chairman of Tata Sons Limited. He said this statement has been made in the interests of the Tata Group, whose interests are far more important than the interests of any individual. Mistry said the NCLAT recognised “oppressive” and “prejudicial conduct” of Tata and other Trustees.
“I am humbled by the NCLAT order, which after review of the enormous material on record, recognised the illegal manner in which I was removed and the oppressive and prejudicial conduct of Mr Tata and other Trustees,” he stated. “As an 18.37 per cent shareholder, it is in our own interest to ensure the Group’s long-term success. My family, although a minority partner, has been a guardian of the Tata Group for over five decades,” he added.
Commenting on Ratan Rata, Mistry said: “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 said that all stakeholders must operate within the ambit of law and statutorily enshrined protections for corporate democracy to be strengthened, all stakeholders must operate within the ambit of law and statutorily enshrined protections. “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,” he stated.
Mistry said that the legal fight has always been and will always be about protecting the rights of minority shareholders and upholding their right to demand a higher standard of corporate governance from controlling shareholders. On January 2, Tata Sons Limited approached the Supreme Court against the NCLAT order of reinstating Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the company. The company has sought early interim relief ahead of the board meeting, which is likely to be held on January 9.