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Bombay High Court allows former ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kochhar to amend petition challenging termination

FP Staff

The Bombay High Court has given former ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kochhar time till 9 December to amend her petition challenging termination from the bank, said news reports. The petition also challenges the approval given by the Reserve Bank  of India's (RBI)  for her termination.

However, the bench of Justices Ranjit More and MS Karnik made it clear that it has kept open the bank's preliminary objections to the maintainability of her petition itself, said a report in The Times of India.

Kochhar's counsel Vikram Nankani argued that Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) nod was essential for her termination under the banking regulations, the report said.

The affidavit of the bank in reply to the petition revealed that the central bank had given its permission, but post facto€"in March, after the 30 January termination, the report said quoting her counsel.

Last week, Kochhar had moved the high court against her ex-employer for terminating from the job after ICICI Bank accepted her request for early retirement last year.

In her petition, she said that Sandeep Bakshi was named her successor only after ICICI Bank had accepted her request for early retirement. Further, Kochhar said that the bank accepted her retirement request in October last year. In February 2019, the bank issued her a termination letter.

In the complaint, she challenged the 'purported termination' and denial of the agreed remuneration, said a report in The Economic Times quoting two people in the know of the matter.

Kochhar termed her termination from ICICI Bank as illegal, untenable, and unsustainable in law, and sought the court's intervention in the matter, the report said.

In October last year, facing enquiry over charges of nepotism and conflict of interest, Kochhar quit the bank, six months before her tenure was to end.

Kochhar also resigned from all subsidiaries of the bank including ICICI Securities where she had sought reappointment as the chairperson. Kochhar's five-year tenure as CEO was to end on 31 March, 2019.

Early this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a criminal case under the PMLA earlier this year against Kochhar, her husband Deepak, Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Group and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning Rs 1,875-crore of loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group.

This action of the agency was based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI had named all the three and Dhoot's companies -- Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL) -- in its case.

The anti-corruption probe agency also named Supreme Energy, a company founded by Dhoot, and NuPower Renewables, a company controlled by Deepak Kochhar, in the FIR.

€" With inputs from agencies

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