Chanda Kochhar’s petition lacks application of mind: ICICI Bank to HC

ICICI Bank’s counsel on Tuesday questioned the maintainability of former managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar’s plea challenging her termination from the bank before the Bombay High Court, saying it lacks ‘application of mind’.

A Division Bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and M.S. Karnik was hearing a petition filed by Ms. Kochhar on November 20, 2019, challenging her termination and the denial of agreed remuneration to her, without previous approval of the RBI She alleged that this was a breach of statutory obligation under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, that too, after her request for early retirement was accepted by the bank’s board of directors.

ICICI Bank’s counsel Darius Khambata questioned the maintainability of the petition. He said because the dispute is contractual and concerns a private body, a judicial review cannot be incurred under Article 226 of the Constitution, which empowers High Courts to issue directions, orders or writs.

He read out three Supreme Court judgments and two High Court judgments supporting the same and argued that that the petition is mala fide in intent and that there is no application of mind to it.

On December 2, 2019, another Division Bench had allowed Ms. Kochhar to amend her plea and add RBI as a respondent, however, Mr. Khambata said doing so cannot revive the plea.

He reiterated that retired Justice B.N. Srikrishna’s report had several serious findings on how Ms. Kochhar failed to discharge her fiduciary duty and was terminated on the basis of this.

On November 30, 2019, ICICI had filed an affidavit contending that the reliefs in the petition are not maintainable and Ms. Kochhar deserves to be dismissed as ICICI is a private bank and is administered under the Companies Act, not the State or its agency.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 7:20:17 PM |

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