The Mumbai Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Special Court on Friday granted bail to Chanda Kochhar, former managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, in the money laundering case involving a ??Loan of 1,875 crore to the Videocon group, examined by the Execution Department.
Kochhar appeared before the PMLA special tribunal on Friday, following a court summons. Her lawyer, attorney Vijay Agarwal, then requested bail for her. The court granted him a personal bond of ??5 lakh and also asked him to submit his passport to the emergency room immediately and not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.
On January 30, while hearing the indictment filed by ED, the court issued a subpoena to Kochhar and other defendants allegedly involved in the money laundering case.
The ED had filed a complaint against Kochhars (Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak) and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) on November 3, 2020.
ED’s proceedings are based on a First Information Report (FIR) recorded by the CBI, which in 2017 opened an investigation against the Kochhars after a whistleblower alleged that ICICI Bank had sanctioned a credit facility against the Kochhars. ‘about ??3,250 crore to various entities in violation of its rules and policies.
In the FIR registered in January 2020, the CBI alleged that six high-value loans worth ??1,875 crore was granted by ICICI Bank to companies in the Videocon group between 2009 and 2011. It was alleged that in 2009 a credit facility to Videocon was extended in violation of rules and policy by the Sanctions Committee . At that time, Chanda Kochhar was one of the panel members.
A loan of ??300 crore was paid to Videocon International Electronics Ltd, a company of the Videocon group on September 7, 2009. It is alleged that ??64 crore of the loan amount was transferred to NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd by VIL on September 8, 2009.
ED’s prosecution complaint stated that “Chanda Kochchar asked VN Dhoot to look after the interests of her husband (Deepak Kochchar) by investing money in her husband’s wind power project. VN Dhoot embezzled loan funds amounting to ??64 crore (proceeds of crime) to NRPL (her husband’s company).