Tata Sons 'sues Cyrus Mistry for confidentiality breach'

Cyrus Mistry Image copyright Getty Images

India's Tata Sons is suing its ousted chairman, Cyrus Mistry, for breach of confidentiality, media reports say.

The conglomerate accused him of causing "irreparable harm and damage" by making sensitive documents public at a companies' dispute hearing last week.

These included the minutes of board meetings, financial information and data.

Mr Mistry has been in a public spat with Tata since he was sacked in October.

Last week, he filed a petition with India's National Companies Law Tribunal - which deals with corporate grievances - accusing Tata of mismanagement and shareholder oppression.

Criminal breach

But Tata alleged that Mr Mistry "deliberately" attached confidential information related to the company to his petition.

This was when there was no "requirement to do so" and resulted in a "criminal breach of trust".

In a legal notice to Mr Mistry, seen by Press Trust of India, it said: "By passing on confidential and sensitive information accessed by you in your capacity as a director of Tata Sons to companies owned and controlled by your family... you have acted in complete violation of your confidentiality undertaking to Tata Sons, your fiduciary duties towards Tata Sons and your obligations under the Tata code of conduct."

It added: "Such reckless failure on your part... has caused irreparable harm and damage to Tata Sons and Tata Group."

Tata Sons, the holding company behind the $103bn Tata group of companies, now intends to pursue all legal remedies, the notice added.

The firm did not respond to a BBC request for comment, while a public relations agency representing Mr Mistry said it had no comment, Reuters reported.

War of words

Tata's board sacked Mr Mistry in October after becoming unhappy with the direction in which he was taking the firm.

But Mr Mistry alleges he was illegally dismissed and has since been involved in a war of words with his predecessor, Ratan Tata, who has taken interim charge of the company.

He has also signalled that he plans to pursue Tata Sons - which he says has violated India's Companies Act - in court, with the aim of replacing its current board or chairman.

In December, Mr Mistry resigned all of his remaining Tata directorships, including board positions at Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals.

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