Udayavni Special

SC rejects Chanda Kochhar’s plea against termination as CEO from ICICI Bank

PTI, Dec 1, 2020, 4:22 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Chanda Kochhar’s appeal against the Bombay High Court order which had dismissed her plea against her termination as the managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, saying the issue falls within the realm of a private bank and employee.

“Sorry, we are not inclined to interfere with the high court order,” a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, adding, “This fall within the realm of private bank and employee.”

The top court was hearing Kochhar’s appeal against the March 5 order of the high court which had dismissed her plea against termination as managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, while noting that the dispute arose from a contract of personal service.

The high court had accepted the bank’s contention that Kochhar’s plea was not maintainable as the dispute was contractual and concerns a private body.

During the arguments before the Apex Court, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kochhar, said the high court had dismissed her plea on the grounds of maintainability.

“I (Kochhar) was the MD of ICICI bank but bank recalled my earlier resignation and converted it into termination,” he said, adding, “This was wrong as it was against the norms”.

Rohatgi said that Kochhar’s resignation was changed into a termination and there was no prior approval.

“The RBI was under obligation. You cannot convert resignation into termination. There is no question of termination as there was no previous approval as per the clause,” he said.

The bench observed, “As far as we understand, it is the RBI who can raise the issue with the bank. You were in service with a private bank. RBI has to deal with the bank saying that no approval was taken.”

Rohatgi said for a certain class of employees, prior approval was needed.

“You show us a judgement which says that you have a role, then your writ petition will be maintainable,” the bench told Rohatgi.

After Rohatgi referred to some judgements, the bench said: “RBI has given post-facto approval. You are saying there was no prior approval. You are saying that it is not the proper manner. Your whole grievance is against the private bank. There cannot be grievance with RBI.”

To this, Rohatgi said: “No. My whole grievance is against the RBI.”

He said if the RBI had not granted approval then Kochhar’s termination would have been nullified.

“What about my (Kochhar’s) reputation,” Rohatgi argued.

The bench observed: “You can claim damages if your reputation is tarnished and if it was wrong.”

Rohatgi said “everything cannot be damages” and the RBI could be asked to explain its approval as the RBI had no jurisdiction to give post-facto approval.

Kochhar was terminated from the ICICI Bank months after she had voluntarily left the second-largest private sector lender.

The former banker had moved the Bombay High Court on November 30, 2019, challenging the “termination” of her employment by the ICICI Bank.

She had contended before the high court that the bank also denied her remuneration and clawed back all the bonuses and stock options between April 2009 and March 2018, for her alleged role in granting out of turn loans to the Videocon Group which purportedly benefitted her husband Deepak Kochhar.

Her counsel had earlier argued in the high court that her termination came months after the bank approved her voluntary resignation on October 5, 2018, and therefore, the termination was “illegal, untenable and unsustainable in law”.

The ICICI Bank had then filed an affidavit, contending the reliefs in the petition are not maintainable and it deserves to be dismissed as ICICI is a private bank and is administered under the Companies Act, not the state or its agency.

On November 20, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had assured the Apex Court that it would not take any coercive action against Chanda Kochhar in a separate money laundering case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the Apex Court that ED would not take any coercive step in pursuance of the enforcement case information report (ECIR) registered in the ICICI Bank-Videocon Group loan case. ECIR is equivalent to a police FIR.

The ED has recently filed a charge sheet against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot on money laundering charges.

The Kochhars, Dhoot and others have denied the allegations.

ED has slapped money laundering charges against the Kochhars and their business entities for “illegal sanctioning of loans amounting to Rs 1,875 crore to the Videocon Group of companies”.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Karnataka’s war on COVID commendable: Governor Vajubhai Vala

Protesting farmers reach Red Fort on tractors, hoist flag

Tractor parade: Clashes between farmers, police in parts of Delhi, protesters enter Red Fort complex

Deralakatte Ayyappa temple robbery case: Two arrested

Tractor overturns at Delhi-Noida border, farmers put it back in no time

Centre to impose permanent ban on 59 Chinese apps

Rafale aircraft makes debut on R-Day flypast

Related Articles More

Government may hike agri credit target to about Rs 19 lakh crore in Budget

Petrol, diesel prices at all-time high

Indian economy estimated to contract by 9.6% in 2020, grow at 7.3% in 2021: UN

RBI refutes reports of withdrawal of old Rs 100, Rs 10, Rs 5 notes

Biden to sign executive orders to promote ‘Made in America’ products


Deralakatte Ayyappa temple robbery case: Two arrested

Mangaluru: Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary hoists flag at D.K district Republic Day celebrations

Mithun Shetty Hebri | Banana Farming information Guide for Beginners

Violators who set fire to crop and disconnected the power from pump set! | Udayavani

Swimming in Padmasana Posture | Gangadhar G Kadekar sets Record

Latest Additions

Karnataka’s war on COVID commendable: Governor Vajubhai Vala

Air pollution linked to increased risk of irreversible vision loss: Study

Meghana Raj shares a video of a fan getting Chiranjeevi Sarja’s name tattooed

Protesting farmers reach Red Fort on tractors, hoist flag

Tractor parade: Clashes between farmers, police in parts of Delhi, protesters enter Red Fort complex

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.