Wadia files Rs3,000 crore defamation suit against Tata Sons

Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia files suit against Ratan Tata and Tata Sons in Bombay High Court, but the court didn't provide any interim relief and EGMs at group companies will proceed as planned

Published: Dec 16, 2016

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Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia
Sameer Joshi / Fotocorp

Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia files suit against Ratan Tata and Tata Sons in Bombay High Court, but the court didn’t provide any interim relief and EGMs at group companies will proceed as planned

Following up on his stated intention, Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia filed a defamation suit against Tata Sons, its directors and interim chairman Ratan Tata in the Bombay High Court, seeking Rs3,000 crore in damages.

The suit names Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Ishaat Hussain, Nitin Nohria, Ranendra Sen, Vijay Singh, Venu Srinivasan, Ralf Speth, N Chandrasekaran and FN Subedar as defendants.

“The Plaintiff (Wadia) submits that the defamatory and offending contents of the special notices have caused severe prejudice to the reputation and good will of the Plaintiff, as also affected his status as an independent director not only in the Tata Group companies, but also in various other companies; and will continue to have a cascading effect on the Plaintiff’s reputation and goodwill in business circles within India and abroad,” Wadia’s petition read. “By making false and baseless innuendos and allegations against the Plaintiff, the Defendants have caused distress, hurt, humiliation, as well as pecuniary loss, social disadvantages, injury to feelings, mental pain and suffering to the Plaintiff.”

Apart from the monetary compensation for damages, Wadia has also prayed for perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from disseminating any “defamatory and libelous allegations,” and direction from the court to the defendants to unconditionally retract the special notices through which Wadia was sought to be removed as an independent director on the boards of Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals.  

Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Friday evening, Tata Sons said: “The Hon’ble Bombay High Court denied every interim relief as claimed by the plaintiff and Mr. Nusli Wadia.”

Tata Sons said in its statement that the extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) of the Tata Group companies, which are scheduled over next week, will proceed “without any intervention and as planned.” Tata Sons seeks to remove Cyrus Mistry and Wadia as directors on the board of group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals, at these EGMs.

“Tata Sons’ votes will be counted and factored in as per law. The Hon’ble Bombay High Court, with the consent of parties, passed an order that one board seat amongst the maximum permissible directors as per the Articles of each company, should remain unfulfilled until the resolution of this suit,” Tata Sons said in its statement. “A copy of the court order is awaited.”

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