The Bombay High Court has dismissed the plea filed by former ICICI Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar seeking post-retirement benefits.

The bench of Justice K. R. Shriram and Justice Rajesh S. Patil noted that if the interim reliefs sought by appellant- Chanda Kochhar is granted, that would cause irreparable injury and prejudice to respondent-bank.

“Any grant of the interim reliefs as sought by appellant would cause irreparable injury and prejudice to respondent, in as much as if respondent were to succeed in its suit and appellant was to lose in her suit, respondent would then be required to seek recovery of the shares acquired by appellant and/or monetary equivalent of the same.”, the Court observed.

The Court also noted that the reliefs sought by appellant are in the nature of final reliefs and grant of such reliefs would amount to decreeing appellant’s suit at the interim stage.

Earlier, the single bench of the Court had dismissed Kochhar’s application whereafter she subsequently challenged the Order before the division bench.

Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy appeared for the appellant whereas Senior Advocate Darius Khambata appeared for the bank.

The Court asserted that whether appellant’s offer of early retirement and respondent’s acceptance thereof resulted in a contract/agreement for retirement on the terms mentioned in the said letter of acceptance or it resulted in cessation of the employer - employee relationship that would preclude respondent from taking any disciplinary procedure or action against appellant or terminate appellant’s employment for cause in January 2019 are all matters of trial which cannot be decided at the interim stage.

The Court further added that whether the respondents’ letter of acceptance puts an end to the rights and obligations of the parties under the subsisting contracts or whether the letter constitutes a new contract thereby putting an end to the rights and obligations of the parties under the subsisting contract or whether benefits listed in the letter were unconditionally granted are also matters of trial.

The Court also pointed out that the appellant approached the Court just two days before the expiry of the three year limitation period from the date of cause of action. The Court said that the delay in approaching the Court would itself disentitle respondent from seeking any interim relief as prayed for.

Thus the Court dismissed the appeals.

Cause Title- Chanda Kochhar v. ICICI Bank Limited

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