New Delhi: In a significant development, the ICICI Bank on Monday approached the Bombay High Court and sought effect to termination of the appointment of Chanda Kochhar as its Managing Director and CEO. The bank also sought recovery of various amounts from her.
The development comes after the bank had on January 10 filed a monetary suit and sought dismissal of Kochhar’s petition and stated that the issue can be decided in a commercial suit.
“ICICI has filed a suit seeking recovery of amounts towards the clawback of bonuses given to the petitioner (Kochhar) from April 2006 to March 2018 pursuant to the termination of the petitioner’s services,” the bank said in its affidavit.
As per updates, a claw-back is a provision in which incentive-based pay, as a bonus, is taken back from an employee by an employer following misconduct or declining profits.
The affidavit from the bank was submitted in the Bombay HC in response to a petition filed by Kochhar which challenged her sacking, months after she voluntarily left the second-largest private sector lender.
“On December 8, 2016, Kochhar executed a claw back agreement with the bank pursuant to which ICICI is entitled to a return of the previously paid variable pay or deferred variable pay from the petitioner in the event of a determination of a gross negligence or an integrity breach by Kochhar,” the bank stated, adding, “The petitioner’s conduct has caused substantial embarrassment to the bank and all the stake-holders, and has led to irreparable reputational loss to the bank,” it stated.
Saying that Kochharviolated the ICICI Group Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, thank in its affidavit said that the petitioner (Kochhar) deliberately committed violation with a malafide intent to obtain illegal benefits.
The affidavit from the bank further stated that Kochhar’s petition challenging her sacking by the bank claiming violation of RBI rules is an malafide attempt to secure valuable stock options of the bank.
After the bank filed the affidavit in the court, the division bench of Justices R V More and S P Tavade asked Kochhar’s advocate Sujoy Kantawalla to go through the affidavit. The court wil hear the matter on January 20.
Challenging termination by ICICI Bank, Kochhar had on November 30 last year moved the Bombay HC. The termination denied her remuneration for her alleged role in granting out of turn loans worth Rs 3250 crore to Videocon Group which benefitted her husband Deepak Kochhar.
Her advocate argued in the court that Kochhar’s termination from her post came months after the bank approved her voluntary resignation on October 5, 2018 and therefore the bank’s action is illegal, untenable, and unsustainable in law.
(With inputs from PTI)