In a relief to top officials of ICICI Bank, including CEO and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar, the Bombay High Court has directed the police to not initiate action against them in a case involving allegations of sexual harassment in the bank's life insurance arm.
A female employee of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance had filed an internal complaint in which she accused a colleague of sexually harassing her.
However, when the company allegedly failed to take action on her complaint, the employee filed an abetment case against Kochhar and four senior executives of the company before a magistrate in CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai.
Last month, the magistrate directed the Navi Mumbai police to file an FIR and probe into the allegations, following which Kochhar and the other executives approached the High Court seeking quashing of the case.
Senior counsel Shirish Gupte, appearing for Kochhar and the other officials, told the court an internal inquiry had not found any merit in the sexual harassment charge.
He argued that the alleged sexual harassment had taken place at the Vashi branch and that his clients had nothing to do with the case.
A division bench of justices NH Patil and VL Achliya posted the petition for further hearing on February 21 and directed the police not to take any action against the accused persons until then.