Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak approach High Court against their arrest in Videocon loan case


Image Source : PTI Former ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar

 Former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court, calling their arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a loan fraud case illegal. The high court, however, refused to grant an urgent hearing and directed the Kochhars to mention the matter before the regular bench once it resumes after vacation.

A lawyer representing the Kocchars said that no prior sanction, as required under the law, was obtained by the CBI before their arrest. The probe agency arrested the Kochhar’s on Friday night after questioning them briefly. It alleged that they were evasive in their responses and did not cooperate in the investigation.

Separately, a special court on Tuesday permitted the Kochhar couple and Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot to use special beds and mattresses while in the custody of CBI. A day before, special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge A S Sayyad remanded the trio in CBI custody till December 28.

The CBI arrested Dhoot, 71, from Mumbai on Monday morning in connection with the ICICI Bank loan fraud case. On Tuesday, the court also permitted the trio to have home-cooked food and medicines. The Kochhars and Dhoot had sought permission to use a chair, special beds, mattresses, pillows, towels, blankets, and bed sheets citing their medical conditions. The court permitted them to use these items at their own cost.

The court also allowed them to take assistance from their lawyers for one hour in private every day till the interrogations are completed. The court said the CBI shall permit one attendant to accompany Dhoot to help him have insulin as and when required during the custody. The CBI had named the Kochhars and Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of the Videocon Group, along with Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy Private Ltd (SEPL), Videocon International Electronics Ltd. (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited, in its FIR registered in 2019 under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI has alleged that ICICI Bank had sanctioned credit of Rs 3,250 crore to the companies of the Videocon Group promoted by Dhoot in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, RBI guidelines, and credit policy of the bank. According to CBI, a sanctioning committee headed by Chanda Kochhar in 2009 approved a term loan of Rs 300 crore to VIEL in contravention of the rules and policies of the bank by abusing her official position as a public servant. The day after the loan was disbursed, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to NRL from VIEL through SEPL. 

ALSO READ | Former ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak sent to CBI custody till Monday

ALSO READ | CBI arrests ex-ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak Kochhar in Videocon loan fraud case

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