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Poonam Singh

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition by Chanda Kochhar challenging her termination as MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, and also a decision to deny her bonus.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul upheld the Bombay High Court order stating that her writ is not maintainable since the nature of dispute is contractual and it is also private in nature.

Justice Kaul told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kochhar, "We are not inclined to interfere in impugned order. This falls within the realm of private contract between bank and employee..... We cannot interfere."

Kochhar filed an appeal against the order of the Bombay High Court which dismissed her petition challenging her termination last year.

Rohatgi submitted before the bench that it was not open to the bank to take total action against his client and virtually recalled her retirement. "The question of maintainability (of the petition) has to be examined", argued Rohatgi.

He added that termination is invalid as it was done without the prior approval of the RBI.

Rohatgi submitted they have converted my resignation to termination. He added "Whether the termination can be done without approving the resignation is a question?"

Justice Kaul replied that the RBI in its wisdom had given its approval.


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