Observing that there was no urgency in the matter, the Bombay High Court has refused to hear petition filed by Deepak Kochhar, husband of former Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case.
Refusing to hear the matter on Wednesday, Justice SK Shinde said: “What is so urgent about this matter? Why should I give priority to this matter? Let the trial court frame charges. Should I hear matters only because trial court will proceed? Every matter is like that. I am not inclined…”
The HC was hearing a petition filed by Kochchar seeking urgent hearing in his plea claiming the trial court is likely to frame charges against him on October 1.
Justice Shinde said there was no urgency in the matter and kept the petition for hearing on September 22
Kochchar, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in September last year, has challenged criminal proceeding initiated by the special court hearing cases filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and all consequential proceedings arising from the same.
According to Kochchar, the statutory adjudicating authority under the PMLA had clearly stated in 2020 that the said property was not proceeds of crime.
However, the ED had suppressed the fact before the special court and got an order in their favour, claimed Kochchar. Hence, he has sought quashing of the case.
The ED is investigating the alleged money laundering case related to siphoning off six high-value loans from ICICI Bank to various companies of Videocon Industries Ltd. The ED has claimed that the alleged amount of the siphoned off money is to the tune of Rs 300 crores.
The ED has alleged that Rs 64 crore, out of Rs 300 crore loan sanctioned by a committee of ICICI Bank headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics, was transferred to another firm, Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), by Videocon Industries on September 8, 2009, a day after the loan disbursement.
NRPL was earlier known as Nupower Renewables Ltd (NRL) and is owned by Deepak Kochhar.