The ICICI Bank on Monday told the Bombay High Court the termination of its former CEO and MD, Chanda Kochhar, was as per "contractual clauses" and that it had sought approval from Reserve Bank of India for it.
Kochhar had moved the Bombay High Court challenging ICICI Bank's decision to terminate her despite the bank having approved her request for early retirement.
Appearing for the bank, advocate Darius Khambata told the division bench of Justices Ranjit More and MS Karnik that the termination was as per "contractual clauses and is justified".
He further stated that the bank sought approval from RBI under section 35B (1)(b) of Banking Regulation Act 1949 for 'termination of appointment' of Kochhar.
Kochhar's counsels Vikram Nankani and Sujay Kantawala argued that ICICI Bank had obtained 'post-facto' (after the fact) approval for her termination from Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was in contravention to law.
Nankani and Kantawala sought time from the court to amend the petition with respect to the reply filed by the ICICI Bank.
Kocchar's purported 'termination for cause' was communicated to her by the ICICI Bank in January.
In her writ petition filed last month, Kochar termed her purported termination "illegal, untenable and unsustainable in law".
The petition said she ceased to be an employee of the bank after her request for early retirement, with effect from October 4 this year, was accepted.
Thereafter, the bank could not have attempted to "unilaterally" treat her cessation of service due to early retirement as "termination for cause", her plea added.
Kochar, in her petition, further said ICICI Bank was under statutory obligation to obtain previous approval of RBI before purported termination of her service, and claimed no such approval was obtained.
The matter was posted for further hearing on December 9.