The Bombay High Court on Friday granted interim bail to arrested Videocon group founder and chairman, Venugopal Dhoot. Dhoot approached the high court after co-accused Chanda Kochhar, former managing director and chief executive officer of the ICICI bank, and her husband were granted bail.
A division bench comprising justices Revati Mohite Dere and Prithviraj Chavan heard Dhoot’s plea. Earlier, ICICI Bank’s former CEO and managing director Chanda Kochhar and her husband, Deepak Kochhar, were released from jail on Tuesday in the Videocon bank fraud case.
They were released a day after the high court held their arrest was “not in accordance with the law.” The Kochhars were arrested on December 23 last year and were sent to judicial custody six days later. The high court had asked the CBI to file by January 13 its affidavit in response to a petition filed by Dhoot seeking to quash the FIR registered against him in the case, declare his arrest as “arbitrary and illegal”, and release him on bail.
The CBI had named the Kochhars, Dhoot, Nupower Renewables (NRL), managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics and Videocon Industries as accused in the FIR registered in 2019 under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI has said the private sector lender ICICI Bank, headed by Chanda Kochhar from 2009 to 2018, sanctioned credit facilities to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore to these companies in violation of norms. Dhoot has also been accused of investing Rs 64 crore in Nupower through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.