The Bombay High Court has asked the Reserve Bank of India to respond to the plea by Chanda Kochhar against her termination from the post of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ICICI Bank. The court has asked the central bank to submit its reply by December 16.
The court order came from a division bench of justices Ranjit More and SP Tavade that allowed Kochhar's plea to name the central bank as a party in the case challenging her termination from ICICI Bank. The bench will hear the matter next on December 18.
On January 30, 2019, the bank's human resource informed Kochhar that in light of the enquiry report submitted by Justice Srikrishna, the board of directors decided to "treat her separation from the bank as termination for cause" in accordance with the bank's internal policies, schemes and the code of conduct.
Kochhar was also informed that the acceptance of her plea for early retirement also was revoked with immediate effect. The entire amount of bonus of Rs 7.42 crore that she received during her tenure as MD and CEO was also to be recovered from her. The early retirement benefits were also revoked.
Kochhar had moved the Bombay High Court challenging her termination from ICICI Bank earlier this year and clawback of bonuses she received between April 2009 and March 2018. Kochhar had claimed in her plea that her termination under Section 35(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 was not in accordance to due procedure. She had said that she was fired by ICICI Bank on January 30, 2019, whereas RBI's sanction in the matter was secured on March 13, 2019.
In response to this, the private lender had told the Division bench that there was no violation of any statutory provision in Kochhar's termination. ICICI Bank said the order to sack Kochhar was passed belatedly as it was waiting for the findings of Justice (Retd) BN Srikrishna Committee regarding charges of quid pro quo against its ICICI chief.