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RPT-UPDATE 1-Tata Sons accuses ex-chairman Mistry of confidentiality breach
December 28, 2016 / 3:39 AM / a year ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Tata Sons accuses ex-chairman Mistry of confidentiality breach

(Repeats story issued late on Tuesday with no changes to text)

MUMBAI, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Tata Sons on Tuesday accused its former chairman Cyrus Mistry of breaching confidentiality rules and said it would take legal action against him, intensifying a battle between the conglomerate and the top executive it sacked in October.

Mistry filed a petition last week seeking the intervention of the National Companies Law Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body that deals with corporate grievances in India, accusing the conglomerate of shareholder oppression and mismanagement.

Tata Sons, in a two-page legal notice from its law firm on Tuesday seen by Reuters, alleged that Mistry had “deliberately” attached confidential information related to the company to his petition, even without “any requirement to do so.”

The information included confidential data, business strategies and financial information pertaining to the conglomerate, and its inclusion has resulted in a “criminal breach of trust,” the notice said.

A public relations agency representing Mistry said it had no comment.

Tata Sons, the holding firm for the $100 billion software-to-salt conglomerate, now intends to pursue all legal remedies, the notice added.

The holding company unexpectedly ousted Mistry as chairman in late October, sparking a public war between the two sides.

“Not only have you breached your legal duties as a director, but you have acted recklessly with the sole intent to cause harm and loss to our Client,” the law firm representing Tata Sons said in its legal notice to Mistry.

Mistry resigned from the boards of all listed Tata companies but has signalled he intends to keep waging a battle in courts against the conglomerate and against family patriarch Ratan Tata, who is back at the helm on an interim basis.

In his petition, Mistry asked the companies law tribunal to either replace Tata Son’s current board or appoint a retired Supreme Court as non-executive chairman.

The tribunal has asked him to provide proof of his allegations that Tata Sons has violated India’s Companies Act sections dealing with shareholder oppression and mismanagement. (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Rafael Nam and Hugh Lawson)

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