RBI defends Kochhar tenure move
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) told the Bombay high court on Wednesday that its decision to grant approval to ICICI Bank to terminate the appointment of Chanda Kochhar as the MD and CEO was fair and not arbitrary.
The central bank filed an affidavit in response to a petition filed by Kochhar last month, challenging her ouster as the chief executive and managing director of ICICI Bank months after she voluntarily left the private sector lender.
The bank, while terminating her employment, also denied her remuneration and rescinded the bonuses and stock options given to her from April 2009 to March 2018.
She was accused of playing a role in granting of out-of-turn loans of Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon Group, which allegedly benefited her husband, Deepak Kochhar.
Chanda Kochhar’s lawyers Vikram Nankarni and Sujay Kantawalla argued that her termination came months after the bank had already accepted her voluntary resignation on October 5, 2018, and, therefore, the sacking was illegal.
The RBI in its affidavit said there was no violation of Kochchar’s fundamental rights, and its decision to approve the termination of her services was devoid of any “malafides or arbitrariness”.
While giving such approvals, the RBI does not sit in judgement over the legality of the action, it added.
“The RBI does not get involved in employer-employee disputes,” the affidavit said.