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NCLT rejects Mistry plea to shift case against Tata Sons to Delhi

NCLT also imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on Mistry's two investment firms, which would be shared by both

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Cyrus Mistry
Cyrus Mistry

The on Friday dismissed the plea of ousted Sons chairman seeking transfer of his case challenging the ouster to the New bench from

The principal bench of the headed by Chairman Justice M M Kumar also imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on Mistry's two investment firms, which would be shared by both.

The two companies -- Cyrus Pvt Ltd and Sterling Corporation Pvt Ltd -- had held that the bench could have a cause of bias.

Last month, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had granted Mistry waiver in the minimum shareholding rule for him to file a case of alleged oppression of minority shareholders after observing "exceptional" and "compelling circumstances" in the entire episode.

The Mistry family owns 18.4 per cent stake in the closely-held Sons. The holding is less than 3 per cent if preferential shares are excluded, not meeting the criteria of at least 10 per cent ownership in a company for the filing of a case of alleged oppression of minority shareholders.

It had directed the NCLT, which had previously dismissed Mistry's petition against Sons on the ground of not meeting the minimum shareholding criteria, to decide the case in three months.

Mistry has been locked in a legal battle with the Tatas since his unceremonious exit as chairman of Sons -- the promoter company of the $105-billion salt-to-software group -- in October last year.

Mistry was ousted as Sons chairman on October 24, 2016, and was also removed as a director on the board of the holding company on February 6, 2017.

Cyrus Pvt and Sterling Corporation Pvt had moved the against Sons after Mistry's ouster last year alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement.

However, on April 17, the bench of the had rejected the waiver plea filed by the investment firms while on March 6, it had set aside the one over maintainability.

Following that, both the investment firms had moved the appellate tribunal.

The NCLAT, however, dismissed another petition filed by the Mistry family's investment firms on maintainability, saying the firms do not have more than 10 per cent in Sons.

First Published: Fri, October 06 2017. 11:48 IST