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Delete adverse remarks about Cyrus Mistry, rules SC

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has struck down certain remarks it made against Cyrus Mistry in its March 2021 judgment that approved the Tata Sons decision to remove him as the chairman and director of the company as well as of other Tata Group entities.
In an order dated May 19 this year (which was put up on the apex court’s website on Thursday), it directed the deletion of adverse personal remarks about Mistry being a person who “set his own house on fire” and he “himself invited trouble by declaring an all-out war” from the judgment. The court added that the order for deletion of remarks is being passed taking into account “his (Mistry’s) career” and also “out of grace”.
The SC order comes after Mistry had requested the apex court to expunge certain observations it had made in the March 2021 judgment which affected his reputation.
“After considering the facts and circumstances pleaded by Mistry and taking into account his career, we, out of grace, direct the deletion of the following remarks in the judgment,” read the May 19 order authored by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana.
As a result, the sentence “A person who tries to set his own house on fire for not getting what he perceives as legitimately due to him, does not deserve to continue as part of any decision making body (not just the board of a company)” will be deleted.
Also expunged is the sentence that Mistry “himself invited trouble, by declaring an all-out war, which led to his removal from directorship”.
“This (Mistry was first removed from the chairman’s post at Tata Sons but not from the directorship by the resolution of the board dated October 24, 2016) acted as a trigger point for Mistry to launch an offensive” too will be removed from the judgment. Also, the line “Thus the relief of reinstatement (as chairman of Tata Sons) granted by the national company law appellate tribunal (NCLAT), was too big a pill even for the complainant companies, and perhaps Mistry, to swallow” will be deleted. Further, the words “leaking his (Mistry’s) mail dated October 25, 2016 to the press” will be deleted too.While the SC expunged certain remarks, it, however, retained certain statements which were a ground for Tata Sons to seek the removal of Mistry as a director, including that he had shared information about the workings of Tata Sons with the income tax department.
Mistry, in his application to the apex court, had stated that he was only following the directions of a statutory body, and that the “information was shared pursuant to summons issued by the DCIT”.
Mistry, who had succeeded Ratan Tata as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, was ousted from the helm on October 24, 2016 and was later removed from its directorship.



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