The Articles of Association (AOA) of Tata Sons was used as a tool to oppress the minority shareholders and there were interferences by Tata Trusts in matters of individual group companies, Mistry counsel said in his argument before the Supreme Court on Monday.
Continuing his argument, senior counsel C Aryama Sundaram cited Tata Sons’ AOA to state that the board had supremacy when it came to making decisions.
Sundaram was arguing on behalf of the two Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group) firms – Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investment Corporation – through which ousted Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry had filed his appeals.
However, Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde said that this could be true for private companies such as Tatas and Birlas, where the head of the families giving directions.
Sundaram, on his argument, said that Tata Sons owns many listed companies running to ₹65 lakh crore with public shareholders. “So there should be some kind of independence in decision-making, and the company should not have gone public.”
Tata Trusts holds a 66 per cent stake in Tata Sons in which Mistry family owns an 18.4 per cent stake.
At the start of the hearing, CJI Bobde said his son had earlier appeared for an SP Group subsidiary, which he had discovered over the weekend, and asked whether anyone had an objection.
Neither Tata nor Mistry lawyers had any objection, which was recorded by the court before the hearing started. The hearing will continue on Tuesday.