'You both are leaders in the industry, why don't you talk and resolve the issue', Supreme Court tells Ratan Tata, Nusli Wadia

  • The apex court said it can ask a reputed mediator to resolve the issue between Ratan Tata and Nusli Wadia

  • The differences between the duo had come out once again recently after the NCLAT had reinstated Mistry as the Tata Sons chairman

  • Wadia was voted out of the Tata group by shareholders at a specially convened general meeting between December 2016 and February 2017

The Supreme Court is likely to appoint a mediator to sort out the disputes between Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata and Wadia group Nusli Wadia.  The apex court asked Tata and Wadia to reach an amicable solution in the defamation case that the latter filed against Tata and other members of the board of Tata Sons in 2016 after the removal of then chairman Cyrus Mistry, according to a report in CNBC TV18.

The Supreme Court said it can ask a reputed mediator to resolve the issue between the duo, the report said.

“You both are leaders in the industry … why don’t you talk and resolve the issue? In this day and age do parties such as yourselves need to pursue litigation like this,” the Supreme Court was quoted as saying in the report.

 You both are leaders in the industry, why dont you talk and resolve the issue, Supreme Court tells Ratan Tata, Nusli Wadia

File image of Ratan Tata. News18

The Supreme Court is hearing the case after the Bombay High Court had quashed defamation proceedings by Wadia against the Tatas, the report said.

The differences between the two came out again in the open after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had reinstated Mistry as the Tata Sons chairman.

Wadia had hailed the restoration of Mistry as Tata Sons Chairman after the NCLAT verdict. He said that the latter's removal was the vindictive act of one person in a veiled attack on Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus.

Wadia moves court against removal from group firms

Wadia was voted out of the Tata group by shareholders at a specially convened general meeting between December 2016 and February 2017.

In December 2016, Wadia had filed a defamation suit against Tata Sons in the Bombay High Court, seeking damages for harming his reputation while proposing to remove him as an independent director of three companies in the Tata Group—Tata Chemicals, Tata Steel, Tata Motors.

Tata Sons' special resolution to shareholders seeking Wadia's removal as independent director on board of Tata Chemicals, Tata Motors and Tata Steel has "caused severe
prejudice to the reputation and goodwill", the chairman of Britannia Industries said in the suit.

He had also sought Rs 3,000 crore in damages. Wadia had claimed that Tata and others had made defamatory statements against him after they ousted Mistry on 24 October 2016 as the group chairman of Tata Sons.

His counsel informed the court that the accused had alleged that Wadia was acting in concert with Mistry, and thus against the interests of the Tata group as a whole.

Wadia in his complaint claimed that he approached the court as he was not satisfied with the explanations the respondents had given him following his letters to them. His complaint sought to initiate defamation proceedings against them under Section 500 of IPC.

In December 2018, a Mumbai court had issued notices against Tata, current chairman N Chandrasekaran and eight directors of the group along with the group chief operating officer in a defamation complaint filed by Wadia. Tata had then approached the Bombay High Court seeking to quash and stay the proceedings initiated against him and others by a magistrate court.

In April this year, Tata told the Bombay High Court that the defamation case filed against him and other directors of the group by industrialist Wadia was because of the fallout of a corporate dispute.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Jan 06, 2020 14:40:03 IST