A sessions court has remanded Deepak Kochhar, the husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate till September 19. This came after the agency told the court that Kochhar is not co-operating with the investigation and that his custodial interrogation was required.
Kochhar was produced before the court at around 1 PM after his arrest last evening. Appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court that on 7th September 2009, ICICI Bank had sanctioned a loan of Rs. 300 crores to Videocon Industries Ltd. (VIL). The following day, on 8th September 2009, Videocon Industries transferred Rs. 64 crores to NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd (NRL) which is managed, owned and controlled by Deepak Kochhar.
Incidentally, Kochhar’s wife Chanda had been the chairman of the sanctioning committee at ICICI.
Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves also appeared for the agency.
The ED further told the court that Kochhar is not co-operating in the investigation and that there are certain crucial aspects to the funds and money trail that need to be investigated.
Appearing for Kochhar, his advocate Vijay Agarwal assisted by advocate Rahul Agarwal, argued that Kochhar has joined the agency’s investigation as many as 12 times alongisde submitting all relevant documents and that custodial interrogation was not required.
The advocate also told the court that Kochhar’s detention was illegal and that he had been arrested the previous day at 10.30 AM and hence, had been produced beyond the period of 24 hours as is required.
The court was however informed by the investigation officer that Kochhar was arrested only at 8 PM. The court said in its order that considering the submission of the officer, the argument of illegal detention does not sustain.
Granting Kochhar’s custody to the agency till 19 September, the court said that it has been submitted by the ED that investigation into certain crucial aspects regarding sources of suspected funds received by Kochhar’s company and the money trail was necessary. The court further said that there is a voluminous record to be investigated and hence custodial interrogation was necessary.
Kochhar had also filed pleas for allowing home food to be provided and another for allowing short meetings with family members. Both of these have been denied by the court.
Another plea to allow meeting his advocate was allowed on specific dates for 15 minutes each, during his custody with the agency.