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Supreme Court Dismisses Chanda Kochhar’s Plea Against Termination As ICICI Bank CEO

Supreme Court Dismisses Chanda Kochhar Plea

In a major setback for the former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, the Supreme Court (SC) rejected her appeal against a previous dismissal by the Bombay High Court regarding her sacking as the bank’s CEO and managing director today. Kochhar had been sacked last year, after stepping down from the leadership roles, following charges of alleged money laundering.

Supreme Court Dismisses Chandra Kochhar’s Plea

As Kochhar was sacked almost four months after her voluntary resignation was accepted by ICICI Bank, she claimed that the termination was rendered “illegal”. India Today reported that Kochhar had moved the apex court on November 20 against her termination and sought benefits like pension, bonuses, stock options after her retirement.
As per NDTV, the apex court’s bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said, “We are not inclined to interfere in the impugned order. This falls within the realm of private contract between bank and employer.”

Kochhar’s lawyer, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opined that termination is not possible without prior approval of the resignation. According to Bar and Bench, Rohatgi also argued that the bank could not virtually recall the former MD and CEO’s retirement. Nevertheless, Justice Kaul stated that the Reserve Bank of India had granted its approval for Kochhar’s termination and declined to hear the matter.

Also Read: CBI Issues Lookout Notice Against Chanda Kochhar

What You Should Know: 

  • The Supreme Court has rejected Chanda Kochhar’s appeal against a previous dismissal by the Bombay High Court regarding her sacking as ICICI bank’s CEO and managing director. 
  • Kochhar had been sacked last year, after stepping down from the roles, following charges of alleged money laundering.
  • As Kochhar was sacked almost four months after her voluntary resignation was accepted by ICICI Bank, she claimed that the termination was rendered “illegal”.
  • The apex court said, “We are not inclined to interfere in the impugned order. This falls within the realm of private contract between bank and employer.”

The Case

Early last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Group based on a complaint made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is conducting an independent investigation regarding the same case. The charges included alleged irregularities and corrupt practices vis-à-vis sanctioning loans worth Rs 1,875 crores by ICICI Bank.

Also Read: Chanda Kochhar – Safeguarding Individual Image Over The Institution

Consequently, Deepak Kochhar was arrested by the ED in September 2020. The Enforcement Directorate is currently probing two loans – given to Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech and Bhushan Steel Group – sanctioned by Chanda Kochhar during her tenure at ICICI for alleged money laundering. Read more here.

Picture Credits: Sunday Times

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV