Chanda Kochhar a woman, Padma awardee, says court while granting bail

A special court while granting a formal bail on Friday to former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in the money laundering case connected to Videocon considered that she is a woman and a Padma Bhushan recipient.

In a detailed order special judge Abhijeet A Nandgaonkar noted that she is a lady and was conferred India’s third civilian honour, Padma Bhushan.

The court said that no doubt, the applicant being a woman is entitled to be released on certain conditions as per a provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It also said that since the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has made the investigation and filed charge sheet before the court and the question of tampering evidence or witnesses does not arise.

The court also considered that she is a permanent resident of Mumbai living with her family members and has deep roots in society.

The apprehension of her absconding can be taken care of, it said, by directing her to surrender her passport. The direction of not leaving India without permission of the court, will suffice ends of justice, it said further.

Arguing for her bail, her advocate Vijay Agarwal along with advocate Rahul Agarwal had submitted that in a petition filed by Kochhar to quash the ED’s FIR against her, the ED had submitted before the SC that it would not take any coercive action against her and that statement still continues.

The court considered that as per directions of the apex court she was protected and therefore the question of sending her to jail will not arise.

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