Mumbai: An incharge holiday court has extended the custody with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of former ICICI MD-CEO Chanda Kocchar, her husband Deepak Kocchar and Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot till Thursday. The trio were arrested in connection with a loan fraud case concerning ICICI Bank and Videocon.
On Wednesday, the trio were produced before the court. While it was the Kocchars’ third production before the court after their arrest on Friday, for Dhoot, it was the second after his arrest on Monday.
As per the CBI’s case, between June 2009 and Oct 2011, ICICI bank sanctioned a loan of Rs 1,875 crores to six Videocon group firms. All these loans were sanctioned after Chanda Kocchar took over the charge of the bank as its MD and CEO. Of these, she was the committee member in the loan sanctioning committee of two loans totalling Rs 1,050 crores. After disbursal of one of these loans, Dhoot had transferred Rs. 64 crores the next day to a company managed by Chanda Kocchar’s husband, an amount the CBI alleges is a bribe. There is another allegation of quid pro quo too.
CBI prosecutor A. Limosin sought that two-days of extended custody be granted. In its remand application, the agency said that the case is at a very crucial stage and that the accused are to be confronted with each other to ascertain material facts of the case. The CBI plea also said that the accused need to be interrogated to unearth conspiracy with unknown public servants and unknown private persons. They are also required to be interrogated thoroughly on voluminous documents involved in the case, it said.
On Monday, producing Dhoot for the first time before the court after his arrest, the CBI had sought his custody along with an extended custody of Kocchars for the same reason.
Kocchar’s advocate told the court that the same reasons are mentioned by the agency for the previous remand too and that there should be some progress. He further contended that the arrest itself was illegal in absence of mandatory sanctions under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and that they must be released.
Appearing for Dhoot, advocate Sandeep Ladda argued that remand is never granted as a matter of right and asked if there is any new material that emerged during custody based on which they are seeking further custody. He requested the court to terminate and reject the remand. Additional Sessions Judge SM Menjoge extended the trio’s custody with the CBI till Thursday.
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