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Rediff.com  » Business » Court slams ICICI Bank, fines it Rs 2 lakh

Court slams ICICI Bank, fines it Rs 2 lakh

Last updated on: January 31, 2011 18:13 IST

Court slams ICICI Bank, fines it Rs 2 lakh

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ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank, has been fined Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) for knocking at the judiciary's door on false pretext by a Delhi court which asked it to have a sense of responsibility matching its size.

"The larger the size of an organisation or institution, the greater is the sense of responsibility expected from it," said the court while holding ICICI Bank guilty of making false claims to court secure its order to seize the vehicle of an alleged bank loan defaulter.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma held the bank guilty after finding that it had moved the court for its permission to seize the vehicle despite confiscating the same nearly a month earlier.

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Photographs: Reuters
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The ACMM asked the bank to be more responsible while rebuking it for taking the plea that it was a large outfit and such mistakes were bonafide and commonplace.

Slamming ICICI Bank for terming its act of moving the court on false pretext as a 'bonafide mistake', the court said such mistakes have been cramping the judicial dockets and delaying the delivery of justice.

"The boards of courts of this nation are already over-burdened and such so-called bonafide mistakes further add to the burden of the courts and result in unnecessary wastage of precious time of judicial officials which can be utilised for some other fruitful purpose," said ACMM Sharma.

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Image: ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochchar.
Photographs: Reuters
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The magisterial court gave its order on a complaint by a civil judge, who told the court that the bank had made the false depositions in its application to him for recovering a sum of Rs 43,496 from alleged loan defaulter Mohd Irfan.

Trashing the bank's plea for leniency, the court said, "It is the lenient attitude of the courts of law shown towards such institutions that they have not bothered to rectify their system and mend their ways."

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on bank's representative Rajeev Sharma, who had moved the court, and sentenced him to a simple one-day imprisonment, ordering him to stand in the courtroom itself till rising of the court.

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Photographs: Reuters
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To the bank's plea for seizure of the vehicle, Irfan responded that it had already taken possession of the vehicle in December 2007, while the application for acquiring possession of the vehicle was filed on January 7, 2008.

"Now the time has come when the courts should start dealing with them sternly so that in future no such incident may occur which not only increases the problems for the courts, but also cause harassment to their own customers who are being dragged in the courts for years as litigants."

The ACMM said, ignoring the bank's "unconditional apology".


Photographs: Reuters
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