Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Loan fraud case: Kochhar, husband appeal against arrest

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 court, however, refused to grant 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 Kochhars on Friday night after questioning them briefly. It alleged that they were evasive in their responses and did not cooperate in the investigation.
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 IPC 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. The probe agency arrested Dhoot, 71, on Monday in connection with the case.
The CBI has alleged that 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 toL from VIEL through SEPL, the CBI has alleged.
The Kochhar couple and Dhoot have been remanded in CBI custody till December 28.

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