Rubbishing the allegations made by two investment companies owned by Cyrus Mistry’s family, Amit Chandra, one of the trustees at Tata Trust and also a nominee director from the trust on Tata Sons Ltd’s board, has said his involvement as a trustee helped Mistry get a ringside view of the conglomerate’s functioning and contributed meaningfully to the proceedings at his first Tata Sons’ board meeting.
Chandra, who is also head of private equity firm Bain Capital’s India unit, said in his response filed with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that his 15 years of experience in the social sector were instrumental in him being appointed as a trustee in 2015 and his corporate experience in his appointment as a Tata Sons’ director. On being nominated to the Tata Sons’ board, he chose to step down from the board of Tata Investment Corporation as an independent director, he said.
Chandra’s response to the allegations was first reported by The Economic Times.
In an affidavit filed in response to the petition filed by Cyrus Investments Pvt. Ltd and Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt. Ltd, Chandra said Mistry had appreciated him for his inputs during his first Tata Sons’ board meeting, at which a five-year plan for the group was presented. In a 20 September 2016, letter, Mistry had expressed the desire that Chandra should get exposed to other parts of the group as they could gain from his experience and understanding, according to the affidavit.
An alumnus of Boston College, Chandra—who had joined Bain Capital in 2008—also dismissed the allegations made by the Mistry-owned companies of directors being ‘postmen’ and ‘agents’ of Ratan Tata and NA Soonawala on the Tata Sons’ board.
In their petition, the two investment companies owned by the Mistry family had alleged that the Tata Sons’ board is not well versed with the functioning of the group. Considering this, Chandra should have ‘ideally’ abstained from voting Mistry out of the chairman’s post, they said.
Email queries sent to Tata Sons, Bain Capital and Mistry did not immediately elicit any response.
Chandra filed his response to the petition filed by the Mistry-owned firms last week. During the same time, NCLT had dismissed the contempt petition filed by Mistry-owned firms and had asked ousted chairman of Tata Group to file a separate petition to challenge the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called by Tata Group on 6 February 2017, within six days.
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