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Bombay HC says Chanda Kochhar, Husband’s arrest by CBI in ICICI-Videocon loan case ‘illegal’

By Rintu Mariam Biju      06 February, 2024 08:30 PM      0 Comments
Bombay HC says Chanda Kochhar Husband’s arrest by CBI in ICICI Videocon loan case illegal

Mumbai: In a major relief to former ICICI bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday declared the duo’s arrest in the 'ICICI Bank - Videocon Loan Fraud Case' as illegal. 

“We have confirmed an interim bail order. Order same as previous interim order of January, 2023,” said a bench of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and Nitin R Borkarn said while confirming an earlier interim order. 

The couple was set free from arrest by virtue of the interim order in January, 2023 after a coordinate bench held their arrest was prima facie not in accordance with section 41A and section 41(1)(b)(ii) of the CrPC.

On December 24, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Chanda and Deepak Kochhar on charges of fraud and irregularities pertaining to a ₹3,250 crore loan that was given to the Videocon Group in 2012. The complainant had claimed that the transactions had benefitted Kochhar's spouse and her relatives.

It was claimed that Kochhar approved a loan for the Videocon Group of Companies while she was in charge of affairs at ICICI Bank. Her husband's business, Nu Renewable, is said to have gotten funding from Videocon as payment in exchange. Later, the loan was declared bank fraud and became a non-performing asset (NPA).

After initial CBI custody, the special CBI court had remanded them to judicial custody on December 29. After which, they moved High Court seeking to quash the case, to declare their arrest illegal and release from detention – as part of this plea, the 2023 interim order was passed and was extended from time to time. 

Arguments made at the final hearing today

Appearing for Chanda Kochhar, Senior Advocate Amit Desai clarified that they aren’t seeking for the FIR be quashed by the court. The Court was told that the duo submitted a new appeal contesting ICICI Bank's approval of their previous CEO and MD's prosecution.

However, Desai maintained that the Kochhars had been unlawfully detained, in violation of the provisions in Code of Criminal Procedure. 
He also referred to the January 2023 interim order. It was highlighted that even the division bench had observed that the Kochhars' identical arrest memos lacked the particular grounds for arrest required by Section 41 of the CrPC (notice to be issued before arrest).

Presenting CBI’s arguments, Advocate Kuldeep Patil countered that the arrest note was the only thing taken into consideration by the interim decision and that neither the case diary nor the remand motion were considered by the Court (while granting interim relief).

He said that evidence of non-cooperation was included in the chargesheet against Chanda Kochhar as well.

Additionally, he refuted Desai's claim that Kochhar had not been taken into custody by a female officer. 



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