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HC dismisses former J&K Bank chief’s petition challenging his ouster

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Upholds single bench order that dismissed Nengroo’s earlier petition

Srinagar: J&K High Court on Wednesday upheld its single bench order that dismissed a petition by Pervaiz Ahmad Nengroo, challenging his sacking as chairman and managing director of Jammu & Kashmir Bank (JKB) in June 2019.

Nengroo had challenged a communication (no.FD/Bkg/21/2019) of 2019 addressed by the Additional Secretary to the Government, Finance Department of J&K State, to the Company Secretary of the Bank. The communique conveyed the decisions of the then government that ceased Nengroos’ position as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Board of Directors of the Bank.

The communication had also nominated R K Chibber as Director on the Board and appointed him as the interim Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Board and also the Bank.

Nengroo had claimed that the communications, orders and actions of the government were arbitrary, illegal and in utter disregard of the Banking Regulation Act, Articles of Association of the Bank and the Service Manual of the Bank.

He submitted that termination of the tenure of the post of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) required the mandatory prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India in terms of Section 35B of the concerned law and that its provisions have an overriding effect over the Articles of Association of any banking company or any resolution passed by any banking company.

His contention was rejected by the J&K High Court’s single bench on November 11, 2022 which he later challenged before the division bench.

Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice M.A. Chowdhary, who heard his appeal, said “having regard to the whole gamut of pleadings, rival submissions and the perusal of the record as well as the impugned judgment, we are of the considered opinion that the learned single judge has decided the matter perfectly in consonance with law after a threadbare discussion on all aspects of the case.”

The division bench said “(the single judge bench) has rightly held that the appointment of the appellant/petitioner as Chairman/CEO of the Bank was contractual in its nature and, as such, there being no applicability of the service law, a writ is not maintainable to the extent of determining his removal as Government nominee Director, Chairman/CEO of the respondent no.2-J&K Bank and his continuance from a career-level post to board-level post is not being amenable to writ jurisdiction, is not maintainable”.

The judges continued “no case is made out by the appellant/petitioner (Negroo) which warrants any interference in the judgment passed by the writ court which is upheld.”

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