SC asks Nusli Wadia, Ratan Tata to resolve differences

Wadia filed a criminal defamation case against Ratan Tata (pictured) and other directors of Tata Sons in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of some Tata Group companies. Photo credit: PTI file

The Supreme Court on Monday asked industrialist Nusli Wadia, chairman of Bombay Dyeing chairman and Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, to resolve their issues.

Wadia had filed a criminal defamation case against Ratan Tata and other directors of Tata Sons in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of some Tata Group companies.

"You both are mature people. You both are leaders of the industry. Why don't you both settle the matter? Why don't you sit together and resolve your differences? Do you all need to pursue litigation like this?" a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde told the counsel representing both the parties.

The court was inclined to dispose off the matter while upholding the finding of Bombay High Court of last year that there was no intention of defamation on the part of Tata, however, the apex court adjourned the matter for January 13 after senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Wadia, said that he would like to seek instruction from his client on the separate suit filed in the matter.

Sundaram said he was against those people who requisitioned for the resolution and leaked it to the media.

Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, along with Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tata there was no intention of any defamation. They said the court should record this and dispose of the petition.

The court, which dictated the order, adjourned the matter subsequently on a request by Sundaram.

Wadia approached the court challenging the High Court order of last year, quashing proceedings initiated by a Mumbai local court against Tata Sons' former chairman Ratan Tata, its current chief N Chandrasekaran and eight directors in the criminal defamation case filed by him.

On December 15, 2018, a magistrate court in Mumbai had issued notices to Ratan Tata and the others in the criminal defamation case filed by Wadia.

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