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Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry dies in road accident near Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in mourning the loss of the business tycoon, calling it a "big loss" to the world of commerce and industry.

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Mumbai: Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of Tata Sons, was killed in a road accident after his car rammed a divider in Maharashtra’s Palghar on Sunday afternoon. He was 54. 

The accident reportedly took place on the Surya River Charoti bridge on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway, 135 km from Mumbai. He was returning to Mumbai from Gujarat in his Mercedes car, agencies report said. 

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“The accident took place around 3.15 pm, when Mistry was travelling to Mumbai from Ahmedabad. The accident took place on a bridge over the Surya river. It seems an accident,” said Palghar district superintendent of police, Balasaheb Patil.

Along with Mistry, Jehangir Pandole, Anahita Pandole and Darius Pandole were present in the car.

Jehangir Pandole, a relative of Darius Pandole, is the other person who died in the accident. Darius Pandole was an independent director in Tata group firms and had opposed the removal of Mistry as the company’s chairman. He also left the Tata group with Mistry.

Darius is Anahita’s husband. Anahita Pandole, a well-known gynaecologist in Mumbai, was driving the car. Anahita Pandole and Darius Pandole were shifted to a private hospital in Vapi in Gujarat after the accident.

“They are likely to be shifted to a Mumbai hospital on Monday morning,” the police official said on Sunday night.

The car was speeding and tried to overtake another vehicle from the wrong side (from the left), a police officer told news agency PTI.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he has asked the state police to conduct a detailed investigation into the accident.

“Spoke to DGP and instructed for detailed investigations,” tweeted Mr Fadnavis, who is also the state home minister.

This is the latest blow for the Mistry family whose patriarch, Pallonji Mistry – Cyrus’s father – died in June at the age of 93. Their empire built luxury hotels, stadiums, palaces and factories across Asia, but was most recently known for a corporate feud with the Tata Group.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in mourning the loss of the business tycoon, calling it a “big loss” to the world of commerce and industry.

“The untimely demise of Shri Cyrus Mistry is shocking. He was a promising business leader who believed in India’s economic prowess. His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace,” PM Modi tweeted.

The untimely demise of Shri Cyrus Mistry is shocking. He was a promising business leader who believed in India’s economic prowess. His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.

Rahul Gandhi said that he was saddened by the tragic news of the demise of Mistry.

“He was amongst the brightest business minds of the country, who made a significant contribution to India’s growth story. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and admirers,” Gandhi said.

The current chairman of Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran paid respect to former Tata Group chief Cyrus Mistry and said it was “really tragic that he passed away at such a young age”.

In a statement issued here, he said: “I am deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely demise of Mr Cyrus Mistry. He had a passion for life and it is really tragic that he passed away at such a young age. My deepest condolences and prayers for his family in these difficult times.”

Among the top business tycoons, Anand Mahindra said it was hard to digest the sad news.

“I got to know Cyrus well during his all-too-brief tenure as the head of the House of Tata. I was convinced he was destined for greatness. If life had other plans for him, so be it, but life itself should not have been snatched away from him. Om Shanti,” M&M Group top boss Anand Mahindra wrote on twitter.

RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka expressed shock over the passing away of Mistry in an accident.

“He was a friend, a gentleman, a man of substance. He was instrumental in creating the global construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji and ably led the Tata group,” Goenka said.

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