NCLT to give order on Jan 18 on contempt plea of Mistry Companies

The plea alleged that respondents have 'committed a breach' of an NCLT order of Dec 22 last year

Cyrus Mistry

The National Company Law Tribunal on Monday reserved its order till January 18 on a contempt petition filed by two Cyrus Mistry family Companies against Tata Sons and its directors, including Ratan Tata, alleging violation of NCLT directives in taking steps to remove Mistry from the Board.

The order was reserved by a division bench of NCLT comprising B S V Prasad Kumar (Member-Judicial) and V Nallasenapathy (Member-Technical) after arguments by all the parties concluded on Monday.

The judgment would be delivered on January 18.

Cyrus Investments Ltd and Sterling Investment had filed a contempt petition seeking injunction against Tata Sons barring from "convening or holding of the EGM scheduled for February 6, 2017, or any other date or from transacting any business thereat."

The contempt plea alleged that the respondents have "committed a breach" of an NCLT order of December 22 last year by giving a special notice on January 3, 2017, for removal of Mistry as a director of the board of Tata Sons, "in clear violation of the order."

It sought punishment for Tata, other directors of Tata Sons and trustees of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Sir Dorabjee Trust — N A Soonawala, R K Krishnakumar and R Venkatramana — under the Contempt of Court Act which provides for simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine of Rs 2,000 or both.

A Sundaram, counsel for Mistry's family Companies, argued that the removal of Cyrus Mistry as a director of Tata Sons could have waited.

By calling an EGM to remove Mistry as a Director of the Company, Tata Sons and others had committed direct violation of the December 22 Tribunal order and its action amounted to "willful disobedience" of NCLT's order in an earlier petition filed by Mistry's family owned companies against Tata Sons, he contended.

Sundaram further argued that the move to remove Mistry was against the spirit of the NCLT order which had earlier stated that the respondents will not "initiate any action or proceedings over this subject matter pending disposal of the company petition.