Tata Steel on Thursday said the Bombay High Court will on Friday hear the suit filed by four shareholders challenging the proposed removal of industrialist Nusli Wadia as an independent director on the company board. “The notice of the motion will be on board for ad-interim relief before… Honourable Justice S J Kathawala on December 16,” Tata Steel said in a BSE filing.
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On December 16, the court will also hear Tata Sons’ plea to let it become a party to the case.
With this suit, for the first time, the government has been dragged into the legal wrangling set off by the sacking of Cyrus Mistry as Tata Group chairman, as the ministries of corporate affairs and law have been made defendants.
Janak Mathuradas, Yogesh Mathuradas, Chanda Mathuradas and Pramila Mathuradas, minority shareholders of Tata Chemicals, Tata Motors and Tata Steel, wanted the high court to restrain promoters of these firms from voting at extraordinary general meetings (EGMs), scheduled for December 21-23, on a resolution to remove Wadia.
They also challenged a rule in the Companies Act which allows promoters to vote on a resolution seeking removal of independent directors.
Only public shareholders should be allowed to vote on a resolution on removal of independent directors as these directors discharge a fiduciary duty towards minority shareholders and protect their interests, they reasoned.