The Allahabad High Court has directed the Chairman of ICICI Bank to file a personal affidavit explaining the engagement of recovery agents, despite the Supreme Court barring the same.

The directions came after the bank was accused of harassing a former loan borrower through recovery agents. These agents began visiting the borrower’s ancestral house, creating scenes to malign his social image. They repeatedly visited the house and made derogatory remarks, which seriously damaged his reputation.

A Single Bench of Justice Prashant Kumar observed, “This Court directs the Chairman of the ICICI Bank to file a personal affidavit stating as to how, his bank, and the officials of his bank have engaged the recovery agents, in spite of the clear direction of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, not to do so. The officers of the ICICI Bank were very well aware of the fact that they cannot engage any recovery agent, and yet they had engaged the services of recovery agents in the year 2013, which is 6 years after passing of the judgement by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

Sr. Advocate G.S. Chaturvedi represented the applicant, while AGA S.K. Chandraul appeared for the opposite party.

The ICICI Bank officials had filed an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking to quash the criminal proceedings lodged by the loan borrower alleging defamation and harassment under Section 500 IPC.

According to the complaint, the borrower had taken a home loan from the bank. Despite settling the loan and foreclosure charges in 2007, the bank erroneously marked his account as a defaulter, negatively impacting his CIBIL credit rating. Singh, an American citizen and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholder, claimed that the bank's actions hindered his ability to secure further business loans, causing substantial financial and reputational damage.

The complaint alleged that the bank had employed recovery agents who visited the borrower’s ancestral home in India, creating disturbances and making derogatory remarks.

The High Court referred to the Supreme Court’s directions in ICICI Bank Ltd. v. Prakash Kaur (2007) 2 SCC 711 where the use of the services of the recovery agents to recover the Bank loans were barred.

As the Chairman, ICICI, Bank has not been arrayed as party, learned counsel for the applicants is permitted to implead the Chairman, ICICI, Bank as applicant no. 5 in this application, forthwith,” the Court stated.

Accordingly, the High Court listed the matter for further hearing on 10th July, 2024.

Cause Title: Jasminder Chahal & Ors. v. State of U.P & Ors.


Applicant: Sr. Advocate G.S. Chaturvedi; Advocate Manish Trivedi

Opposite Party: AGA S.K. Chandraul

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