The NCLAT adjourned the hearing till Friday and sought clarification from the RoC on what constitutes a private company. A two-member Bench, headed by NCLAT Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, also sought an explanation on the due process for allowing the conversion from public to a private company. The RoC Mumbai had sought the removal of the words “illegal” and “with the help of RoC” in the tribunal’s order pertaining to Tata Sons’ transition from a public to private company, in September 2017.
In the December 18 order , the NCLAT had passed serious strictures against the RoC, stating that Tata Sons had hurriedly changed its status to a private company from public “with the help of the RoC”, which was illegal. Justice Mukhopadhaya said: “The finding may be wrong but the judgment is not.” The appellate tribunal asked the RoC to furnish details on the paid-up capital requirement for a private firm.
The NCLAT had said that the RoC, in the Certificate, had struck down the word ‘public’ and shown ‘Tata Sons Limited' as a ‘Private’ company, even in the absence of any order passed by the Tribunal under Section 14 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The RoC said there were factual and legal errors in the verdict, and hence appealed to the appellate tribunal to amend the order so that it correctly reflected the conduct of the RoC, Mumbai, as not being illegal and acting in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 1956/2013. “The appellate tribunal be pleased to delete the aspersions made regarding any hurried help accorded by the RoC, Mumbai, to Tata Sons except what was statutory required from the RoC, Mumbai,” the petition stated.
The RoC added that it was not party to the petition filed by Mistry investment companies in both the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai, and later at the NCLAT, Delhi.