Amid the controversy of an alleged conflict of interest involving ICICI Bank and its CEO Chanda Kochhar, former Sebi chief M Damodaran today said one option is for her to step down for a period of "three or four months".
Damodaran said that there are three or four elements that need to be looked at, including that the reputation of the bank is on the block.
"Stakeholders are asking questions, institutional investors who are large shareholders are asking questions; the layperson who is reading newspaper reports is also asking questions. It could be a depositor also who is asking questions in the light of all of this and the fact that there is an investigation," he told business channel ET Now.
Responding to queries on whether Kochhar should be asked to step down, Damodaran said, "there are two ways -- one is for the CEO to step down and say I do not want any part of this. I will prove myself to be right as and when the procedure gets completed".
According to him, the other way is to "step down for a period of three or four months and say that alright while this thing is going on, I am not going to be there".
"...Get an external agency, request her to go on leave. She has worked hard enough all these years and I am sure could do with some leave. So, request her to go on leave for a while. She does not have to vacate the post forever and then see what is the outcome of the investigation," he noted.
There are allegations of conflict of interest and nepotism involving the bank and Kochhar in extending a loan to the Videocon Group.
According to reports, Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar had formed a joint venture with Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot for a business dealing in renewable energy and there were a string of transactions later which gave him full control of the venture after the exit of Dhoot.