Arrest not in accordance with law: Bombay HC grants bail to Chanda Kochhar [9.1.2023]

The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in the ICICI Bank-Videocon case, stating that the arrests were "not in accordance with the law".

A division bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere and Justice Prithviraj K Chavan said the petitioner's arrest, "We have held that the petitioners' (Kochhars) arrest was not in accordance with provisions of law and this warrants their release. The court added that it is "not in compliance with section 41 A of the criminal procedure code."

The release has been ordered on a cash bail of Rs 1 lakh each. The bench said the duo shall cooperate with the probe and attend the CBI office as and when summoned.

The court also asked Kochhars to surrender their passports to the CBI.

The order was passed on petitions filed by Chanda Kochhar and her husband challenging their arrest by the CBI in connection with the bank loan case.

They were arrested last month by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Kocchar couple had termed their arrest "illegal" on the ground that no sanction was obtained before their arrest by the CBI.

The CBI had named Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar as well as Videocon's Venugopal Dhoot along with Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Limited as accused in the FIR registered in 2019 under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI alleged that ICICI Bank sanctioned credit facilities to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore to the companies of Videocon Group in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, RBI guidelines and the credit policy of the bank.

It further alleged that as a part of a quid pro quo, Dhoot made an investment of Rs 64 crore in Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL), and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.

09 Jan 2023