Chanda Kochhar, the former CEO of ICICI Bank, has approached the Bombay high court challenging the validity of the bank’s termination letter issued early this year. She has sought from the court a declaration upholding the validity of an earlier letter in October 2018 wherein ICICI Bank had accepted her early retirement. On October 3, 2018, Kochhar had put in her papers after a controversy over loan disbursement to Videocon Industries. ICICI Bank had accepted her early retirement application and appointed Sandeep Bakshi in her position.
In February this year, however, Kochhar received a letter from the bank saying that she is terminated “for cause, in view of pending inquiry”. The bank also then cancelled all her benefits, right from 2008. The issue before the court is that having accepted her request for the early retirement, she no longer was an employee of the bank for it to be able to terminate her services. Unless she is restored on the rolls of the bank, she cannot be removed again. Her prayer is to declare that the communication of early retirement issued by the bank on October 4 is valid and the later communication of termination be quashed.