Boardroom battle: Nusli Wadia voted out of Tata Chemicals board

‘Shareholders approve resolution to appoint Bhaskar Bhat as firm’s director’

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: December 25, 2016 12:49 am
nusli wadia, wadia, tata, ratan tata, tata sons, tata companies, tata group, tata chemicals, tata chemicals board, ratan tata nusli wadia, cyrus mistry, tata steel, nusli wadia removed, tata chemicals remove nusli wadia, tata industries, cyrus mistry, ratan tata, business news, indian express news Nusli Wadia was removed as Director from the boards of Tata Steel and Tata Motors earlier this week. (File photo)

Tata Chemicals independent director Nusli Wadia has been voted out of the company’s board with 75.67 per cent votes going in favour of a resolution moved by Tata Sons to remove him at the company’s EGM on Friday. Wadia was removed as Director from the boards of Tata Steel and Tata Motors earlier this week.

Out of the total 25.48 crore shares of the company, 14.91 crore shares were voted. Out of this, 11.28 crore were in favour of the resolution to remove him, according to a regulatory filing by Tata Chemicals. The company said 3.62 crore votes, accounting for 24.33 per cent of votes polled, were against his removal.

Tata Chemicals also said the shareholders have approved a resolution to appoint Bhaskar Bhat as a director of the company with 79.26 per cent of votes going in his favour. It further said the shareholders have also approved the appointment of S Padmanabhan as director of the company with 89.29 per cent voting in favour of a resolution for his appointment.

Tata Chemicals had last month issued notice for an extraordinary general meeting of the company’s shareholders to discuss a resolution moved by Tata Sons to remove Cyrus Mistry, ousted chairman of Tata Sons, and Wadia as directors.

Mistry resigned from listed Tata firms ahead of EGMs. Wadia, who has been an independent director at Tata Chemicals for 35 years, has already filed a criminal defamation suit against Tata Sons, its interim chairman Ratan Tata and some directors for alleged “defamatory and offending” contents in a special resolution moved to seek his removal from three Tata Group firms.

On Friday, Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata turned emotional at a shareholders’ meeting stating that there had been a definite move to damage his personal reputation and “these days are very lonely” because of “unsubstantiated” attacks against him.

Countering the charges listed by Nusli Wadia, Tata said that truth will prevail. “Whatever the process may be and however painful it is, I think the truth will prevail and the systems in our country will govern,” he said at the extraordinary general meeting of Tata Chemicals.

“There has been a definite move to damage my personal reputation and the reputation of this great group — the Tata group. And these days are very lonely because the newspapers are full of attacks, most of them unsubstantiated but nevertheless very painful,” he said.

He said the 150-year old Tata group stands for strong governance and fair play. “I could not leave from here (EGM) today without at least expressing my deepest gratitude to the shareholders. It has been a pleasure to be with you,” Tata said thanking the shareholders for their support, warmth and affection.

“And coming here this week with all the shareholders, I have been so moved emotionally and deeply touched by the warmth and the support and the affection that they have shown,” Tata said. “It (EGM) could have gone either way but your support has been overwhelming and remarkable. It has done more for my sense of goodwill today.”

Wadia said Tata Sons and the individuals cited, including patriarch Ratan Tata, had defamed him “by printing, publishing and circulating per se false, frivolous, baseless, incorrect, libelous and defamatory material concerning the Complainant.”

He said the actions had tarnished his reputation and “caused distress, hurt and humiliation, as well as pecuniary loss, social disadvantages, injury to feelings, mental pain and suffering to the complainant.”

Wadia said he would pursue criminal charges of defamation, as well as abatement and “criminal action with common intention” violations that could be punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both.

Wadia had been expected to take legal action after he was ousted from the boards of Tata Motors and Tata Steel this week.

On Thursday, the National Company Law Tribunal, where Cyrus Mistry had moved a day before, alleging bad practices, oppression and mismanagement on the part of Tata conglomerate, refused to provide any interim relief to him.

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