A special court designated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Friday granted bail on a cash deposit of Rs. 5 lakh to former Chairman and MD of Videocon Venugopal Dhoot in a money laundering case connected with ICICI bank.
Dhoot appeared before the court on his own as the court had taken cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case and summoned the accused accordingly.
He said he had not received the summons and hence had himself come to court to appear before it. The court then took him in custody and he sought bail.
In his bail plea, the 70-year-old had stated that he is a senior citizen and has multiple health issues and was constrained to shift to his Aurangabad residence and hence did not receive summons. He further said that he had cooperated with the investigation and hence was never arrested in the case. He also sought parity with co-accused former ICICI bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar. He also said that he is no longer holding any position in Videocon.
The court had issued process in the case in January end and directed the accused including Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar to be present before it on February 12.
Accordingly, Deepak Kochhar who is in custody in the case was produced before the court from jail. His wife Chanda appeared and after the court took her custody and was granted bail on direction of depositing Rs. 5 lakh.
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 Dhoot through a company to another Nupower Renewables Private Limited managed and controlled by Deepak Kochhar. Chanda Kochhar was a 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.