Chanda Kochhar, former ICICI bank managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO), and her husband Deepak Kochhar has been detained in jail at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) till December 26. They were presented on Saturday for the continuation of remand proceedings before a Special Court of the CBI in Mumbai.
The CBI detained the couple on Friday in connection with the suspected ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case. According to the First Investigation Report they registered with them, the CBI lawyer testified in court that they detained accused numbers 4 and 5.
According to the CBI lawyer, "Accused 4 was MD and CEO of ICICI in 2009, and the fifth one is her husband." He said that six loans were approved for Videocon and its subsidiary firms after Chanda Kochhar was named the bank's MD and CEO, and Chanda was a member of the committees that approved two of the loans. The CBI lawyer said that the firm had received a loan for Rs 1,800 crore and added that a different company in which Deepak Kochhar owned stock had received a loan for Rs 300 crore.
"In this instance, we have also applied to activate IPC section 409. Both of the accused had already received a notice from us under section 41 of the CrPC, but they were arrested after refusing to cooperate "He emphasised that although they had sent the couple a notice requiring them to appear before it on December 15, they had instead promised to appear four days later and had not shown up on December 19 either.
Amit Desai, counsel for the Kochhar family, emphasised that industrialist Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group was also named in the FIR when it was filed. He asserted that the Kochhars were never called to testify in the investigation even after an FIR was filed against them. Instead, they sent a notice for December 15 that was changed to yesterday only with the CBI's permission.
He questioned, "Why have they been detained now if an investigation wasn't required until January 2019?
During its initial investigation, the CBI observed that allegedly in contravention of ICICI Bank's set norms, six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were granted to the Videocon Group and entities affiliated with it from June 2009 to October 2011. The loans were reportedly labelled as non-performing assets in 2012, causing the bank to incur a loss of Rs 1,730 crore.