The Mumbai sessions court has given relief to former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry and his family's investment firms from the criminal defamation suit filed by R Venkataramanan, managing trustee of Tata Trusts.
Revoking the summons issued by a magistrate to Mistry and others in July, the judge observed that the subordinate court had not followed a proper procedure of complaint verification as mandated by law.
"Recording a verification statement is not an idle formality but a sacrosanct act and that issuance of the process in a private complaint is a serious matter,'' Judge G O Agarwal said.
Earlier Mistry, filed a plea with the sessions court claiming that proper procedure has not been followed at the lower court, reported Mint.
After the hearing, the judge sent back the case to Mumbai magistrate court for a fresh hearing.
Earlier in July, the Mumbai magistrate court admitted the Rs 500 crore defamation case filed by Venkataramanan against Mistry, Cyrus Investments and Sterling Investments.
The case was filed following Cyrus Mistry's ouster from Tata Sons in October 24, 2016. Post Mistry's unceremonious exit, an ugly battle started between the Tata Group and Mistry.
Venkatraman filed the case saying that allegations made by Mistry against him and Tata Sons directors and Tata Trusts trustees were defamatory and caused "irreparable" damage to his reputation among colleagues, family, friends and society, the business daily reported.
Zulfiqar Memon, counsel for Venkatramanan, said sessions court's ruling doesn't seem to affect the original case filed by his client.
Back in August, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran had ordered its group to snap all ties with Cyrus and Shapoor Mistry's SP Group. SP Group holds about 18.4 percent stake in Tata Sons.