The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to examine a plea filed by the CBI challenging the interim bail to Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot in the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan fraud case.
A bench of Justices A S Bopanna and M M Sundresh issued notice to Dhoot after taking note of the submission of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the CBI, that the bail was granted by the Bombay High Court on a surety of just ₹1 lakh on January 20 without examining the case diary. Dhoot was arrested on December 26, 2022.
High Court granted Interim bail to Dhoot
The High Court had granted the interim bail, noting that the reason mentioned by the CBI for Dhoot's arrest was "quite casual and without any substance." Stating that an investigating officer cannot arrest any accused as per his "whims and fancies", the high court had also rapped the special court saying it did not make any "serious efforts" to scrutinize the remand application as well as the case diary.
The CBI has alleged that ICICI Bank had sanctioned credit facilities to the tune of ₹3,250 crore to the companies of Videocon Group promoted by Dhoot in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, Reserve Bank of India's guidelines, and credit policy of the bank.
CBI named Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar in its FIR
It had named the Kochhars as well as Dhoot along with Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Ltd as accused in the FIR registered in 2019 under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had further alleged that as a part of quid pro quo, Dhoot made an investment of ₹64 crore in Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL), and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.