At last hearing, senior counsel Darius Khambata had filed an affidavit on behalf of ICICI Bank, justifying Kochhar’s termination.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to file its affidavit in reply to the petition filed by Chanda Kochhar — former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank —challenging her removal from the post.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice M.S. Karnik was hearing Ms Kochhar’s plea, challenging her termination and the claw back of bonuses she received between April 2009 and March 2018. Ms Kochhar claimed that in October last year, she requested early retirement and the board of directors of ICICI Bank accepted her request.
At last hearing, senior counsel Darius Khambata had filed an affidavit on behalf of ICICI Bank, justifying Ms Kochhar’s termination. He had submitted that ICICI Bank sought approval from the RBI under section 35B (1) (b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, for termination of Ms Kochhar’s appointment.
Appearing for Ms Kochhar, senior counsel Vikram Nankani and advocate Sujay Kantawala had sought time from the court to amend the petition in view of the reply filed by ICICI Bank. In this regard, Ms Kochhar's counsel had argued that ICICI Bank obtained from the RBI a post-facto approval for Ms Kochhar’s termination, which was in contravention of the law.
On Monday, Ms Kochhar informed the court that she had amended her petition and made RBI a respondent. The court then asked the RBI to file its reply and kept the next hearing on December 19.
A committee with Justice B.N. Srikrishna on board had been appointed to investigate the allegations that Videocon Industries was granted loans by ICICI Bank and as quid pro quo, Videocon invested in Nupower Renewables, the company of Deepak Kochhar, Ms Kochhar’s husband. As per reports, the Justice Srikrishna committee indicted Ms Kochhar earlier this year. In turn, the board of directors of ICICI Bank terminated her appointment.