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Supreme Court rejects Chanda Kochhar’s appeal against sacking as CEO of ICICI Bank – Business News , Firstpost


The prime court docket was listening to Kochhar’s appeal against an order of the Bombay High Court, which had dismissed her plea against termination, noting that the dispute arises from a contract of private service

File picture of Chanda Kochhar. PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court 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 problem falls inside the realm of a non-public financial institution and worker.

“Sorry, we are not inclined to interfere with the high court order,” a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul mentioned.

This falls inside the realm of personal financial institution and worker, the bench said.

The prime court docket was listening to Kochhar’s appeal against the 5 March order of the excessive court docket which had dismissed her plea against termination as managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, whereas noting that the dispute arises from a contract of private service.

The excessive court docket had accepted the financial institution’s competition that Kochhar’s plea was not maintainable as the dispute was contractual and issues a non-public physique.

During the arguments earlier than the apex court docket, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, showing for Kochhar, mentioned the excessive court docket had dismissed her plea on the grounds of maintainability.

I (Kochhar) was the MD of ICICI financial institution however financial institution recalled my earlier resignation and transformed it into termination, he mentioned, including, “This was wrong as it was against the norms.”

Rohatgi mentioned that Kochhar’s resignation was turned into termination and there was no prior approval.

The RBI was underneath obligation. You can’t convert resignation into termination. There isn’t any query of termination as there was no earlier approval as per the clause, he mentioned.

The bench noticed, “As far as we understand, it is the RBI who can raise 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 mentioned for sure class of staff, prior approval is required.

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

After Rohatgi referred to some judgments, the bench mentioned, “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 mentioned, “No. My whole grievance is against the RBI.”

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

What about my (Kochhar’s) repute, Rohatgi argued.

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

Rohatgi mentioned every part can’t be damages and RBI may be requested to clarify its approval as RBI has no jurisdiction to offer publish-facto approval.

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

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

She had contended earlier than the excessive court docket that the financial institution additionally denied her remuneration and clawed again all of the bonuses and inventory choices between April 2009 and March 2018, for her alleged position in granting out of flip loans to the Videocon Group which purportedly benefitted her husband Deepak Kochhar.

Her counsel had earlier argued within the excessive court docket that her termination got here months after the financial institution authorized her voluntary resignation on 5 October, 2018 and due to this fact, the termination is “illegal, untenable and unsustainable in law”.

The ICICI Bank had then filed an affidavit, contending the reliefs within the petition usually are not maintainable and it deserves to be dismissed as ICICI is a non-public financial institution and is run underneath the Companies Act, not the state or its company.

On 20 November, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had assured the apex court docket that it could not take any coercive motion against Chanda Kochhar in a separate cash laundering case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the apex court docket that ED wouldn’t take any coercive step in pursuance of the enforcement case=== info report (ECIR) registered within the ICICI Bank-Videocon Group mortgage case. ECIR is equal to a police FIR.

The ED has just lately filed a cost sheet against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot on cash laundering expenses.

The Kochhars, Dhoot and others have denied the allegations.

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

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