The Supreme Court on Friday gave its final verdict in favour of Tata Sons' patriarch Ratan Tata (83) and dismissed an appellate court (NCLAT) order reinstating Cyrus Mistry (52) as the group's chairman. Mistry, who was appointed the chairman in 2012, was sacked in 2016.
The 3-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, left untouched the issue of the Mistry group holding shares of Tata Sons, leaving it for the Tata Group and Mistry to take a legal route to resolve it.
Minutes after CJI Bobde pronounced the verdict, Ratan Tata appreciated the ruling, saying "it reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary.''
‘‘It is not an issue of winning or losing. After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgment upholding Tata Sons is a validation or the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principles of the group. It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary," Ratan Tata posted.
The tussle between the two groups was going on since 2016 when Ratan Tata asked Mistry to step down as the chairman since he had lost faith of the board. Mistry's refusal to leave had resulted in an ugly public spat between Tata and Mistry, but he ultimately stepped down after two months.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group had told the Supreme Court that the removal of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons in a board meeting held in October 2016 was like a "blood sport" and an "ambush" and in complete violation of principles of corporate governance and pervasive violation of Articles of Association in the process. Tata Group had vehemently opposed the allegations and said the board was well within its rights to remove Mistry as the chairman.