ICICI-Videocon loan fraud case: Bombay High Court grants bail to Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak Kochhar
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to former managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in an alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon loan fraud case.
The court ruled that their arrest was not in accordance with the law and that they should be released. The couple was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 23 in an alleged money laundering case involving Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot.
The couple had sought temporary bail to attend their son’s wedding, which is to be held on January 15. They referred to the CBI’s arrest as illegal in their bail petition and argued that no sanction had been obtained, as needed under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Advocate Kushal Mor, representing the Kochhars’ said the former ICICI Bank CEO was arrested after a perfunctory interrogation and that a female officer was not present at the time of her arrest, as is mandated by law.
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According to the CBI, after Chanda Kochhar took over as MD and CEO, the bank sanctioned rupee term loans (RTL) worth Rs 1,875 crores to six companies of the Videocon Group between June 2009 and October 2011. As a quid pro quo, Videocon invested in her husband Deepak’s company, NuPower Renewable.
During the initial investigation, it was found that between June 2009 and October 2011, six loans totaling Rs 1,875 crore were approved for the Videocon Group and businesses affiliated with it, allegedly in violation of ICICI Bank’s established norms.
The reports state the loan was waived off on September 7, 2009, and, the next day, Videocon Group – via its firm, Supreme Energy Private Limited, transferred Rs 64 crore to NuPower Renewables Limited.
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