Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak Kochhar released from Arthur Road Jail

Chanda Kochhar

In an alleged multi-crore money laundering scam the release of former ICICI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar accused has been released from Arthur Road Jail on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday while observing the arrest of the Kochhar couple the court said “not in accordance with the law” and from the judicial custody they have been allowed to release on a cash bail of Rs 1 lakh each.

“It is also incumbent on courts to satisfy themselves that there is due compliance of Sections 41 and 41-A, failing which, the same will ensure the benefit of the person suspected of the offense, entitling the person to be released on bail,” the court observed.

Earlier on 23 December 2022 the Kochhar couple was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Videocon-ICICI loan scam case.

“We may note, that ‘reason to believe’ must be based on credible material and no decision to arrest can be recorded on fancy or whimsical grounds,” the court noted.

“The reason given in the arrest memos to arrest the petitioners, having regard to the facts as stated aforesaid, appears to us, to be casual, mechanical, and perfunctory, clearly without application of mind. The ground for the arrest of the petitioners mentioned in the arrest memos is in clear breach of the mandatory provisions of Sections 41 and 41-A and 60-A of Cr.P.C.,” read the order.

“We may note, that we have not gone into the other submissions advanced by Mr. Desai, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner- Chanda Kochhar, in particular, the submission, that as per the mandate, a lady officer was not present at the time of the petitioner-Chanda Kochhar’s arrest, in view of the finding recorded by us hereinabove. For the reasons set out hereinabove, the petitioners are entitled to be released on bail, pending the hearing and final disposal of the aforesaid petitions,” the order stated.

Moreover, to the Videocon Group six loans were sanctioned worth Rs 1,875 crore between June 2009 and October 2011, CBI found during its preliminary inquiry.

However, in 2012 the agency said that the loans were declared non-performing assets which caused a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.