The Supreme Court judges hearing a petition against the merger of Bank of Rajasthan (BoR) with ICICI Bank on Wednesday described it as an “abuse of process of law” and asserted that they would not hear the case unless the petitioner disclosed in an affidavit how many shares he held in BoR.
An earlier bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had declined to hear the petition, moved by Ram Prasad Somani, against the bank and the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The new bench, comprising Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar, told the counsel for the petitioner that they would not hear the case unless he disclosed how many shares he held in BoR.
“Anyone can buy a share worth Rs 10 in a company and then create problem for it everywhere and for everybody in the country,” the judges said. They asked the petitioner to clarify his standing in the case.
ICICI Bank had approved the merger of BoR on May 23 through share-swap in a non-cash deal that valued BoR at about Rs 3,000 crore. A section of the employees of BoR is opposing the merger deal under which 25 ICICI shares will be offered with every 118 shares of BoR. According to the petition, another plea seeking clarity on the shareholding pattern was pending in the apex court since 2006 and therefore the merger could not have been allowed unless that was decided.