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Bombay HC grants bail to Deepak Kochhar

Deepak Kochhar  

While granting bail to businessman Deepak Kochhar on Thursday, the Bombay High Court in a detailed order stated that his grave offence affected the economy of the country as a whole.

A FIR was registered against Mr. Kochhar, Chanda Kochhar (former managing director of ICICI Bank) and V. N. Dhoot (managing director of Videocon Group) for causing loss to ICICI Bank by sanctioning loans to Videocon Group of Companies in contravention of the rules and policies of ICICI Bank.

On September 8, 2009, ₹64 crore was transferred by Mr. Dhoot to Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Mr. Kochhar from Videocon Industries Limited through his company, Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL).

A single Bench of Justice P.D. Naik released Mr. Kochhar on executing a bond of ₹3 lakh and said, “It is pertinent to note that the applicant (Mr. Kochhar) is in custody from September 7, 2020. He was arrested after the period of about 18 months pursuant to registration of Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR). Ms. Kochhar and Mr. Dhoot have been granted bail by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court. The entire loan amount was repaid to ICICI bank.”

“Mr. Kochhar is in custody for more than six months. The transactions in question were for the period of 2009. The entire loan of ICICI Bank was repaid in 2012. Prior to arrest, he had appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on several occasions. His statements were recorded, and documents were tendered. The arrest was affected 18 months pursuant to the registration of ECIR. No charge sheet is filed in the CBI case,” the court added.

The 94-page-judgment said, “Videocon group has been taking loan from ICICI Bank for several years. The trial is not likely to commence and conclude immediately. The question of tampering evidence does not arise. The applicant is a permanent resident of Mumbai. The question of absconding does not arise. The case for grant of bail is made out.”

The case concerns “Mr. Dhoot allotting 19,97,500 warrants to Mr. Kochhar @ ₹10 per warrant on an initial payment of ₹1 per warrant before resigning from directorship. On June 5, 2009, shares of NRPL held by Mr. Dhoot and Mr. Kochhar’s group (Pacific Capital Services Pvt. Ltd.) were transferred to SEPL, which became 95% shareholder of NRL and SEPL was incorporated on July 3, 2008.”

The outcome resulted in an offence under sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code and several sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 9:07:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bombay-hc-grants-bail-to-deepak-kochhar/article34172695.ece

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