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Blow for Chanda Kochhar as HC rules her termination from ICICI Bank 'valid'

Blow for Chanda Kochhar as HC rules her termination from ICICI Bank 'valid'

Blow for Chanda Kochhar as HC rules her termination from ICICI Bank 'valid'
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By Jomy Jos Pullokaran  Nov 10, 2022 6:00:58 PM IST (Published)

In the interim order, the Bombay High Court also restrained Kochhar from dealing with ICICI Bank's 6.90 lakh shares which she had acquired through stock options in 2018.

In a setback for Chanda Kochhar, the Bombay High Court on Thursday (November 10) said the retrospective termination of the former CEO of ICICI Bank was prima facie "valid" and dismissed her interim application seeking post-retirement benefits.

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In the interim order, the court restrained Kochhar from dealing with ICICI Bank's 6.90 lakh shares which she had acquired through stock options in 2018.


A single Bench of R.I. Chagla dismissed an interim application filed by Kochhar seeking specific performance of her former employer's contractual obligations towards benefits due to her since her early retirement from the bank on October 4, 2018.

The court order said, "ICICI Bank did not have complete knowledge of the facts, including the non-disclosures by Kochhar... these facts were disclosed only on receipt of the inquiry report. I have held that the termination was a valid termination and Kochhar did not come to court with clean hands. Kochhar is restrained by an order of injunction from dealing with any of the 6.90 lakh shares."

In her application, Kochhar sought specific performance of the entitlements and benefits that were unconditionally provided to her when the bank accepted her early retirement in 2018.

The bank could not have terminated a person who had already retired, the application said. The benefits granted to her unconditionally included employee stock options that were exercisable till 2028.

The ICICI Bank had also filed an application seeking a direction to Kochhar to not deal with the shares and sought full disclosure of the profits she had made.

In May 2018, the bank initiated an enquiry against Kochhar following a complaint about her alleged role in granting out-of-turn loans worth Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group, which benefitted her husband Deepak Kochhar. Chanda Kochhar went on leave thereafter and later applied for early retirement, which was accepted.

The bank had then said it had treated her separation as 'termination for cause' and had also sought regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for Kochchar's termination of appointment as is mandatory under the provisions of the RBI Act.

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