NCLT reserves order on Mistry's plea

NCLT reserves order on Mistry's plea

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has reserved its order on the plea of ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry seeking transfer of his petitions challenging the ouster to the New Delhi bench from the Mumbai one.

The principal bench of the NCLT, headed by Justice M M Kumar, will pronounce its verdict on Friday. During the proceedings, senior lawyer C A Sundaram appearing for Mistry family’s two investment firms, said the Mumbai bench could have a cause of bias. “We are asked to go before a forum (NCLT Mumbai bench) which has already judged the issue,” he argued. However, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mukul Rohatgi opposed it, saying it was a case of “forum shopping”.

“This should be dismissed at threshold. They have suppressed the facts. They have already raised twice before the NCLAT to transfer the case to Delhi and hear it,” Singhvi argued, adding that the appellate tribunal did not decide on it.

The investment firms in question are Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments Corporation. Last month, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) granted Mistry the waiver in the minimum shareholding rule for him to file a case of alleged oppression of minority shareholders after observing “exceptional” and “compelling circumstances”. The Mistry family owns 18.4% stake in the closely-held Tata Sons. The holding is less than 3% if preferential shares are excluded, not meeting the criteria of at least 10% ownership in a company for filing of a case of alleged oppression of minority shareholders.

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