Ousted Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry has moved appellate tribunal NCLAT against the National Company Law Tribunal, which had rejected his plea over maintainability of its petition against the group.
The petition is likely to come for hearing next week before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal bench, headed by NCLAT Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya.
The tribunal had held last month that the plea was not maintainable because the petitioner firms did not meet one of the eligibility criteria prescribed by the Companies Act.
“Mistry’s companies have failed to satisfy us (NCLT) on the minimum 10 per cent shareholding eligibility criteria under the Companies Act and hence, these petitions are not maintainable,” said a division bench of B S V Prakash Kumar (member-judicial) and V Nallasenapathy (member-technical).
On April 17, National Company Law Tribunal had dismissed a petition filed by two firms belonging to Cyrus Mistry’s family, seeking waiver of an eligibility condition for moving the forum against Tata Sons.
The Companies Act mandates that a petitioner should hold at least one-tenth of the issued share capital of a company or represent 10 per cent of the total number of members to file cases alleging mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders.
The two firms—Cyrus Investment Pvt Ltd and Sterling Investments Pvt Ltd had sought to challenge Mistry’s ouster from Tata Sons last year and alleged that there was mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders.
They had urged the NCLT to use its discretion and waive an eligibility condition for filing such a petition.
The firms contended that under the Act the tribunal can waive a requirement that petitioner should hold at least one-tenth of ‘issued share capital’ of the company, or represent at least one-tenth of the company’s minority shareholders.
Tata Sons had argued that if preference capital was also considered, the petitioner firms held only 2.17 per cent of the total issued share capital of Tata Sons.
Mistry was removed as Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding firm of Tata Group, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, last October.