The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on the plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the interim bail granted by the Bombay High Court to former ICICI Bank CEO-cum-MD Chanda Kochhar in the Videocon loan fraud case.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi sought a response from Chanda Kochhar on the plea of CBI and posted the matter for hearing after three weeks.
Last week, the Supreme Court asked CBI why it was not objecting to the repeated extension of interim bail granted to former Chanda Kochhar and her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar.
It had told Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the CBI, that the accused was granted interim bail in January for two weeks and asked him why the agency not objecting to the repeated extension.
The Bombay High Court on January 9 granted interim bail to Kochhars. It had pulled up the CBI for arresting the couple in a “casual and mechanical” manner and “clearly without application of mind” in the loan fraud case and granted them interim bail.
The CBI arrested the Kochhar couple on December 23, 2022, in connection with the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan fraud case.
The apex court was hearing the appeal of CBI against the interim bail order of the High Court order.
Kochhars had approached the High Court challenging their arrest and said it was illegal and arbitrary. They had sought their release from jail on bail by way of an interim order.
The High Court had said the Kochhars’ arrest was not in accordance with the provisions of law and they were entitled to be released on bail.
Apart from the Kochhar couple, the CBI has also arrested Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot in the case.
The CBI had registered a case against the Kochhar couple, Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, and others for allegedly causing loss to the ICICI Bank by sanctioning loans to the Videocon Group of companies in contravention of the bank’s policies.
The central agency had alleged that ICICI Bank had sanctioned credit facilities to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore to the companies of the Videocon group in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines and credit policy of the top private lender.
Chanda Kochhar was ICICI Bank CEO and MD from 2009 to 2018.
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