On 6 January, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal dismissed the Registrar of Companies’ petition which sought modification of the judgment in the Tata-Mistry case.
Earlier on 18 December, the tribunal ruled reinstating of Cyrus Mistry as the Executive Chairman of Tata Group and also titled the conversion of Tata Sons from a public company to a private one by the Registrar of Companies as illegal. Subsequently, RoC filed a plea at the appellate tribunal to remove the word “illegal” from its verdict among other observations.
A two-judge bench headed by NCLAT Chairman Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya said that “There is no ground to amend judgment dated 18 December 2019.” The bench further held that its ruling had not cast any aspersions on the RoC.
Earlier on 18 December, the tribunal had termed the appointment of N Chandrasekaran, as ‘illegal’ following the October 2016 expelling of Mistry as Tata Sons’ executive chairman. It further directed the RoC to reverse Tata Sons’ status from a ‘private company’ to a ‘public company.’ The tribunal said that the action taken by the RoC to allow the firm to become a private company was against the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 and ‘prejudicial’ and ‘oppressive’ to the minority member (Mistry Camp).
Subsequently, on 23 December in its urgent application, RoC Mumbai instigated the appellate tribunal “to carry out requisite amendments” in Para 186 and 187 (iv) of its judgment “to correctly reflect the conduct of the RoC, Mumbai as not being illegal and is as per the provisions of the Companies Act.”
The bench asserted that “The NCLAT can only clarify and not change the judgment. However, the Supreme Court, being the highest judicial authority can change the judgment if it finds it incorrect.”