NCLT dismisses Mistry firms' transfer plea, fines his firms Rs10 lakh

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has dismissed former Tata Son's chairman Cyrus Mistry's family firms for transfer of the case against Tata Sons Ltd to Delhi bench of the tribunal, and instead imposed a penalty of Rs10 lakh on the firms for filing the petition.

''The plea is dismissed with penalty of Rs10 lakh to be borne equally by both the companies,'' said Justice MM Kumar, while pronouncing the order. The case will continue to be heard by the Mumbai branch of the NCLT.

Cyrus Mistry's family firms - Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments - had held that the Mumbai bench could have a cause of bias.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for Tata Sons, had opposed the transfer saying that the plea amounts to forum shopping and bench hunting, and deserves to be dismissed.

"Tata Sons is pleased with the court order and respects the decision of the judiciary," Tata spokesperson said.

Mistry, who was removed as Tata Sons chairman last year, had a small victory in September as Appellate Tribunal granted a legal waiver to his family firms to file a case against Tata Sons.

The Appellate Tribunal had directed the NCLT, which had previously dismissed Mistry's petition against Tata 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 Tata Sons in October last year.

Mistry's family firms, which own 18.4-per cent equity in Tata Sons, have moved the law tribunal against Tata Sons alleging mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholder.