Tata Sons accuses Mistry of ‘criminal breach of trust’

While the oppression and mismanagement proceedings against Tata Sons & others, in the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) are currently sub judice, Tata Sons has issued a legal notice to Cyrus Mistry alleging a ‘criminal breach of trust’.

The notice, which has been issued by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas on behalf of Tata Sons, alleges a breach of ‘confidentiality undertakings’ by Mistry for having shared in the NCLT petition, information which is confidential in nature and wholly irrelevant to the case in hand.

Furthermore, the legal notice claims that this was information which could have very easily been redacted. Instances of such information include sharing of various minutes of meetings which, inter alia, contain business strategies and financial data pertaining to the business of affairs of Tata Sons and other group companies.

The notice reads,

By providing Confidential & Sensitive Information to the Petitioner and further, by failing to ensure that such Confidential & Sensitive Information was unrelated to the Petition was not suitably redacted by the Petitioners, you have failed in your discharge of your legal duties as a Director of Tata Sons which are imposed on your under law, including the Companies Act, 2013.

The rather harshly worded notice further goes on to question Mistry’s claims of being a well-wisher of Tata Sons on account of ‘such reckless failure’ on his part in discharging his fiduciary, legal and contractual duties, thus having caused irreparable harm and damage to Tata Sons and other group companies.

A demand has been made to Mistry to  ‘cease and desist’ from sharing any such confidential information and further, during the course of legal proceedings, redact all information which is not relevant to the case.

While no legal action has been taken so far, probably due to agreement by counsel of both sides in the NCLT to not file anything until the Tata Sons files a response to Mistry’s petition, this surely is a sign of a battle that is not ending anytime soon.

After all, the legal notice mentions that Tata Sons,

intends to exercise all legal rights and pursue all remedies available under applicable law’.