ICICI - Videocon scam: Deepak Kochhar sent to Taloja jail, seeks admission in private hospital

An incharge sessions court remanded in judicial custody Deepak Kochhar, the husband of former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, in the ICICI-Videocon money laundering case.

Appearing for Kochhar on Saturday, his advocate Rahul Agarwal filed a plea for him to be admitted in a private hospital for two weeks, as he is still recovering from COVID-19. The court has asked the agency to file its response on the plea.

Kochhar had been in the Enforcement Directorate’s custodial interrogation in the money laundering case involving Videocon since Tuesday. Arrested on September 8, he was found positive for the virus on September 14 while he was supposed to be in the agency’s custody for interrogation till September 19. Thereafter, on the agency’s plea, his police custody had been suspended, as he had been admitted in Delhi’s AIIMS.

Post discharge from the hospital on October 13, the central agency had sought his custody again, which the court had granted till October 17, observing that he is a prime accused in the case.

Advocate Agarwal also made a plea for Kochhar to be allowed to carry his medicines, spectacles, pen, writing pad and footwear to jail. The agency opposed the plea. The court, however, said that in its opinion, Kochhar can be allowed to take the articles to jail and passed an order directing the jail superintendent to allow him to carry them.

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 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.

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