A probe by retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna has found former ICICI CEO and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar guilty of violating the bank’s code. The sensational disclosure has come just days after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley objected to Kochhar being booked for cheating by the CBI along with her husband Deepak Kochhar. The CBI officer, who had filed an FIR against her was later transferred by the government.
In light of the latest conclusion by the probe committee, the ICICI has said that it will not treat Kochhar’s resignation as termination. This effectively means that any unpaid benefits owed to her will be held back by the bank.
It said in a statement, “Following the receipt of the Enquiry Report, and due consideration of the Enquiry Report and the conclusions thereat, after due deliberations, the Board of Directors decided to treat the separation of Ms Chanda Kochhar from the Bank as a ‘Termination for Cause’ under the Bank’s internal policies, schemes and the Code of Conduct, with all attendant consequences (including revocation of all her existing and future entitlements such as any unpaid amounts, unpaid bonuses or increments, unvested and vested and unexercised stock options.”
Kochhar said that she was ‘utterly disappointed, hurt and shocked by the decision” of the Board of Directors.’ She was part of the ICICI’s credit committee that sanctioned a loan of Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group in 2012.
A statement by the ICICI in the wake of the Srikrishna panel’s report said, “The Audit Committee of the Bank had on June 6, 2018 appointed former Supreme Court judge, Hon’ble Mr. Justice (Retd.) B. N. Srikrishna as the Head of Enquiry (HOE) to undertake a comprehensive enquiry on allegations against Ms. Chanda Kochhar. The HOE was assisted by a law firm, and a forensic and investigative services firm for the conduct of the enquiry. The Bank has received the Enquiry Report from HOE, and the Board of Directors considered the same at the Board Meeting held on January 30, 2019.