The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), who are currently investigating the alleged loan fraud involving the Videocon Group and the ex-CEO of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar, suffered a major setback as the arrest of the ex-CEO and her husband has been ruled as illegal by the Bombay High Court. The verdict has resulted in the immediate release of both the accused, as the court has termed the same as the arrest hadn’t been carried out by the law enforcement authority and was not in accordance with the law. The Kochhar arrest controversy, as a fallout of the illegal loan case that was facilitated by the-then CEO of ICICI Bank and the alleged kickbacks received by her husband as a result of the loan grant, had created a lot of furore when the irregularities were unearthed initially in 2018.
Kochhar arrest controversy: The backdrop
The promoter of the Videocon Group, Venugopal Dhoot, who happened to receive a loan to the amount of Rs. 3250 crores from ICICI Bank was largely facilitated by the CEO of the bank Chanda Kochhar. After a few months of the loan was granted to the Videocon Group, her husband’s company Nupower Renewables received considerable investment from the Videocon Group promoter. Needless to say, the entire deal was a shady one right from the start and further enquiries initiated by the bank and subsequently by the CBI revealed that bank norms were very much twisted and bypassed to accommodate the deal resulting in undue favours being granted to the concerned beneficiary. This led the CBI to file a criminal conspiracy case against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar along with Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon group. The whole controversy led to the ouster of Chanda Kochhar as the CEO of the bank.
The Kochhar arrest controversy as a result of the arrests made by the CBI of the prime accused was ruled out by the Bombay HC thereby granting bail to both Chanda Kochhar and her husband on a surety amount set at Rs. 1 lakh. The court has also directed both the accused to co-operate with the CBI in the ongoing investigations.
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