CBI Gets Time Till Friday To File Reply To Kochhars’ Plea Against Arrest
CBI arrested Chanda and Deepak Kochhar in the case on Dec. 23 following which the couple was sent to jail under judicial custody.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted the Central Bureau of Investigation time till Friday to file its reply to the plea of former ICICI Bank chief executive officer and MD Chanda Kochhar and her businessman-husband Deepak Kochhar, challenging their arrest in an alleged loan fraud case.
The Kochhar couple has moved the HC seeking to quash their remand order, calling their arrest "illegal". Seeking their release from jail, they have also submitted that their son is getting married later this month and invitations have already been sent out to guests.
The CBI arrested Chanda and Deepak Kochhar in the case on Dec. 23, following which the couple was sent to jail under judicial custody.
On Tuesday, when the HC took up their plea against arrest, the central agency sought time to file its response.
Deepak Kochhar’s lawyer Vikram Chaudhary submitted that the wedding of his client’s son is scheduled for later this month and invitation cards have been distributed.
The businessman was called to record his statement in the case, but was instead arrested, said the lawyer.
Chanda Kochhar’s lawyer told the court that the prosecution in a case against her under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act had made a statement that her arrest was not required.
But the CBI arrested the former ICICI Bank CEO citing non-cooperation in investigation of the loan fraud case, said her lawyer.
The Kochhars have been named accused in a separate case filed under the PMLA against them by the Enforcement Directorate.
The lawyers sought the couple’s interim release on account of their son’s upcoming wedding.
However, the high court said the CBI needs to be given time to file its response to the plea, and adjourned the matter till Friday.
The CBI has named the Kochhars, Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot, along with companies Nupower Renewables, managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy Pvt., Videocon International Electronics Ltd. and Videocon Industries Ltd., in its 2019 FIR registered under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The probe agency has alleged that ICICI Bank in 2009 had sanctioned credit of Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon Group companies in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, RBI guidelines, and the private lender's credit policy.
The day after the loan was disbursed, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to NRL from VIEL through SEPL, the CBI has alleged.
At the time, Chanda Kochhar headed the leading private sector bank.
The probe agency has also arrested Dhoot in the case and he, too, is in judicial custody.