Tatas won’t force Shapoorji Pallonji Group to sell stake

New Delhi: The Tata Sons' lawyers told the Supreme Court on Friday it will not invoke the power of compulsory purchase under Article 75, of the company's Articles of Association, with regards to the shares owned by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Senior advocate and former Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, representing the Tata Sons, said prima facie, the NCLAT order was totally erroneous, and therefore a stay on the order was required.

Counsels for ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry said they hold hold 18.5 per cent shares, but have been kept completely in the dark from "what is happening".

As they cited that Mistry has been a member of the Board but have been sidelined completely, and therefore it is appropriate to maintain the status quo instead of a stay on the NCLAT judgement, the bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant said: "We will protect you."

Tata Sons' counsel gave its assurance to the court that it will not invoke the power of compulsory purchase under Article 75 in connection with the shares owned by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. This statement was recorded by the court.

The exercise of Article 75 would empower Tata Sons to purchase the shares of any shareholder at a price valued as fair market price.

The NCLAT in December 2019 restored Mistry as Executive Chairman of Tata Sons and ruled the appointment of N. Chandrasekaran as illegal.

Mistry has ruled out his return as the Chairman of Tata Sons, but instead asked for a seat on the Board, expressing apprehensions that Tata Sons should not invoke powers conferred under Article 75, which may eventually compel Pallonji Group to sell its stake.

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