After investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigations and the Enforcement Directorate in the coal and cattle smuggling cases, another central investigating agency
Former Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICICI bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar were produced before a Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for carrying forward remand proceedings, where it seeked a three-day custody for the couple.
The CBI arrested the couple on Friday in connection with the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case. The CBI lawyer in the court said that they have arrested accused number four and five, as per the First Investigation Report registered with them.
“Accused 4 was MD and CEO of ICICI in 2009 and the fifth one is her husband,” the lawyer said.
He said that after Chanda Kochhar became the MD and CEO of the bank, six loans were sanctioned to Videocon and its subsidiary companies and Chanda was a part of the committees that sanctioned two of the loans.
“The loan amount of Rs 1,800 crore has been given to the company,” the CBI lawyer added mentioning that another loan of amount Rs 300 crore was given to a company whose part was Deepak Kochhar.
“We are filing an application to invoke IPC section 409 also in this case. We had already given a notice to both the accused under section 41 of the CrPC, but since they did not cooperate so we arrested them,” he said underscoring that they had sent a notice to the couple to appear before it on December 15 but they said they would appear four days later and did not come on 19th as well.
“They came yesterday (December 23) and due to non-cooperation, they were arrested. To confront them with the spam evidence and documents of the case we should be given three days’ custody of both the accused,” the CBI lawyer argued.
Meanwhile, the advocate of the Kochhars, Amit Desai argued by emphasising that the registered FIR also included industrialist Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group.
He said: “Years after the FIR was registered against them, none of the Kochhars were called for joining the investigation and then they suddenly sent notice for December 15 which was changed for yesterday only with the approval of the CBI.”
“If there was no need for investigation till January 2019, why have they been arrested now?” he asked.
The case is related to the alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanction of a Rs 1,875 crore loan disbursed by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group during 2009 and 2011.
During its preliminary enquiry, the CBI found six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June 2009 and October 2011 in an alleged violation of laid-down policies of ICICI Bank, which are part of the probe.
The agency has said that the loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.