The special PMLA Court in Mumbai has granted bail to Chanda Kochhar, former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, in connection with the money laundering case involving ₹1,875 crore loan to the Videocon group, probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
Kochhar appeared before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court on Friday, following summons by the court. Her lawyer, advocate Vijay Agarwal, then sought bail for her.
The court granted her bail on a personal bond of ₹5 lakh and also asked her to not leave the country without prior permission of the court.
On January 30, court had issued summons to Kochhar and other accused allegedly involved in the money laundering case while taking cognizance of the charge sheet. “After going through the submissions, written complaints and statements recorded under PMLA, it appears that Chanda Kochhar had misused her official position in granting loan to accused Dhoot and/or Videocon group companies,” judge A A Nandgoankar had observed.
He further said that it appeared that Kochhar got “illegal gratification” for siphoning off money and proceeds of crime.
ED filed a complaint against Kochhars and the Dhoots on November 3, 2020 and accused eight companies in the money laundering case. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had in 2017, initiated an inquiry against the couple after a whistleblower alleged that ICICI Bank had sanctioned a credit facility of about ₹
In its first information report (FIR) registered in January 2020, CBI alleged that six high-value loans worth ₹1,875 crore were given by ICICI Bank to Videocon group companies between 2009 and 2011. It was alleged that in 2009 a credit facility to Videocon was extended in contravention of rules and policy by the sanctioning committee. At that time Chanda Kochhar was one of the members of the committee.
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Further, a loan of ₹300 crore was disbursed to M/s Videocon International Electronics Limited, a Videocon Group Company on September 7, 2009. It is alleged that an amount of ₹64 crore —out of the loan amount was transferred to M/s NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd by Videocon Industries Limited (VIL) on September 8, 2009.
ED, which investigated the allegations, claimed VIL transferred the money to NuPower Renewable Pvt Ltd (NRL) through Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) which was later acquired by Pinnacle Energy, a family trust of Deepak Kochhar. The agency claimed that NRL was owned, controlled and managed by Deepak.