The Mumbai High Court today rejected an urgent hearing requested by former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, who was arrested on Friday by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with her husband Deepak Kochhar in connection with alleged irregularities at the bank where she heads. Provided a loan of Rs 3,000 crore to the Videocon Group as a private bank. The court directed the couple to appear in court on January 2 for their regular hearing.
Chanda Kochhar and Deepak Kochhar have challenged the three-day CBI custody granted by the Mumbai court in the Bombay High Court. They are currently being interrogated by the investigative agency.
The Kochhars argued in court that their arrest was unlawful under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which made opening an investigation mandatory under Section 17A of the Act, and that the agency did not have any such sanction to initiate it. .
Yesterday, Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot was also arrested by the CBI in connection with the ICICI loan case.
The CBI has listed Mr Kochhars and Mr Dhoot, as well as NuPower Renewables (NRL), a company managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Limited, in the FIR under IPC and Criminal Conspiracy and the Prevention of Corruption Act 2019 Provisions.
According to the charges in the case, Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested Rs 640 crore in NuPower Renewables as part of an exchange, months after Videocon Group secured bank loans between 2010 and 2012.
The loan was cleared by a committee of which Ms Kochhar was a member, the CBI said. The agency said she abused her position and “obtained illegal gratification/improper advantage from Dhoot through her husband to sanction Rs 300 crore from Videocon.”
This is part of a Rs 40,000 crore loan that Videocon has secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by State Bank of India.
However, Chanda Kochhar has denied any wrongdoing.
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