Chanda Kochhar’s arrest in ICICI-Videocon loan case was illegal: Bombay HC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Chanda Kochhar’s arrest by CBI in ICICI-Videocon loan case was illegal: Bombay HC

BySahyaja MS
Feb 06, 2024 04:54 PM IST

CBI has alleged that ICICI Bank sanctioned ₹3,250 crore to Videocon Group companies, violating banking regulations, RBI guidelines, & the bank’s credit policy.

The Bombay high court on Tuesday allowed a petition filed by Chanda Kochhar, former chief executive officer and managing director (CEO& MD) of the ICICI Bank, questioning her arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularities in loans provided to some Videocon Group firms.

Chanda Kochhar, former CEO& MD of ICICI Bank. (File Photo)
Chanda Kochhar, former CEO& MD of ICICI Bank. (File Photo)

A bench of justices Anuja Prabhudessai and NR Borkar confirmed an earlier order of January 9, 2023, by which she was granted interim bail, holding that her arrest was illegal.

Kochhar and her husband, Deepak Kochhar, were arrested on December 23, 2022, in connection with the Videocon loan case but were later released on January 9, 2023, with interim bail from the Bombay high court. The Supreme Court directed the high court to expedite the hearing after noting multiple bail extensions.

Read | SC pulls up CBI on Kochhar’s repeated interim bail extension

During the recent hearing, Kochhar’s counsel clarified that they were not insisting on quashing the FIR but had challenged the bank’s sanction to prosecute her in a separate proceeding. The stand was maintained that the arrest was illegal, violating the mandated procedures under sections 41A (notice of appearance before police officers) and 46 (How to make arrest) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Kochhar’s arrest was deemed illegal due to her cooperation with the central agency, as noted in the interim order.

The CBI countered, arguing that the interim order only considered the arrest memo and didn’t include the case diary and remand application. They asserted that, with the charge sheet filed, documents could be presented to prove non-cooperation. The CBI claimed there was no bar on a male police officer arresting a female accused if physical interaction didn’t occur, and the arrest was made in the presence of a female police officer.

Also Read | Will challenge Chanda Kochhar's interim bail in Bombay HC: CBI tells SC

The CBI’s FIR in 2019 implicated the Kochhars, Venugopal Dhoot, and companies including Nupower Renewables, Supreme Energy Pvt., Videocon International Electronics Ltd., and Videocon Industries Ltd.

The agency alleged that ICICI Bank sanctioned 3,250 crore to Videocon Group companies, violating banking regulations, RBI guidelines, and the bank’s credit policy. The CBI further alleged that in 2009, a committee led by Chanda Kochhar approved a term loan for Videocon International Electronics Ltd., violating bank rules. CBI in July last year had filed its chargesheet in the case.

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