Court calls jail report in Deepak Kochhar’s plea for admission in private hospital

Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Tuesday directed the Chief Medical Officer of Taloja jail where businessman Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar is lodged, to submit a report informing it whether the jail has necessary treatment available for post-Covid-19 care.

The court needs this report to decide on an application by Kochhar through his advocates Vijay Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal to admit him in a private hospital for post-Covid care. On Tuesday, when the plea was being heard, they expressed their concern about the availability of proper facility in jail for the same. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) then pointed out that the plea will not sustain in the absence of a report from jail.

Kochhar had tested Covid positive mid-way through his custodial interrogation last month. He had been in Delhi’s AIIMS and then in Apollo hospital for treatment. After his discharge this month, the ED had sought his custody again for interrogation, which the court had granted. Special judge under the PMLA Prashant Rajvaidya called for the report from jail by noon on Wednesday so that an order can be passed on the matter the same day.

Judge Rajvaidya directed that the jail is to submit its report without fail and also gave it the liberty to submit it by email.

Kochhar was arrested by the ED on September 8. As per the agency’s case, a day after ICICI Bank sanctioned Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Limited (VIEL), Rs 64 crore was sent by Videocon Chairman and MD Venugopal Dhoot through a company to another Nupower Renewables Private Limited managed and controlled by Kochhar. Kochhar’s wife Chanda was the chairperson of the committee, which had sanctioned the loan. An amount of Rs 1,575 crore that was sanctioned by the bank to Videocon Group companies had turned non-performing assets. Chanda was involved in the decision-making process in sanctioning these loans, the agency has alleged.

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