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ICICI Pru brass get HC reprieve in sexual harassment case

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In a relief to top officials of ICICI Prudential Life, including its chairperson Chanda Kochhar and four senior officials, the Bombay High Court has temporarily restrained police from taking action against them till February 21 in a case alleging that they failed to act in a sexual harassment complaint filed by an employee.

A division bench of justices N H Patil and V L Achliya was yesterday hearing a petition filed by Kochhar and the other executives seeking quashing of the case filed against them by the Navi Mumbai police.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing to February 21 and asked police not to take action against the ICICI officials until then.

The case pertains to an internal complaint by a female employee of ICICI Prudential, which is promoted by ICICI Bank, alleging sexual harassment by one of her male colleagues.

The complainant has accused a colleague of sexually harassing her in the Vashi branch of the company and that the management allegedly did not take any action on her complaint.

Following this the woman 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 had directed the Navi Mumbai police to file an FIR and probe the allegations, following which Kochhar and other executives approached the High Court.

Senior counsel ShirishGupte, appearing for Kochhar and others, told the court that an internal inquiry had not found any merit in the sexual harassment charge. He also argued that the alleged act had taken place at the Vashi branch and that his clients had nothing to do with the case.

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