No coercive action against Chanda Kochhar in ICICI-Videocon loan probe, ED assures SC

Earlier this month, ED filed its first charge sheet, naming Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon group chief Venugopal Dhoot and 7 firms in the case.
Chanda Kochhar
Chanda Kochhar
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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday assured the Supreme Court that no coercive action will be taken against former ICICI Bank Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar in the ICICI-Videocon loan case. Mehta, representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), made the submission before a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, during the hearing of a petition by Kochhar on behalf of her husband, Deepak Kochhar, challenging his arrest.

Chanda Kochhar moved two pleas -- one connected to her husband and the other on her behalf under Article 32. Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kochhar, said her husband's pending bail petition in the top court may affect the bail plea listed in the trial court.

The top court noted that the regular bail petition of Deepak Kochhar is listed in the trial court for Monday, and the pendency of the case here will have no effect on the trial court proceedings.

During the hearing, Justice Kaul told Rohatgi: "You have a sword hanging on your head. But at least you have protection..." The pleas are likely to listed next week for further hearing.

Earlier this month, the ED had filed its first chargesheet in the ICICI-Videocon loan case, naming former Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon group chief Venugopal Dhoot and seven firms in a money laundering case.

According to ED sources, the financial probe agency has named Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot along with seven firms, including Videocon International Electronic Limited (VIEL), Videocon Industries Ltd, NuPower Renewables Ltd and Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, among others.

Deepak Kochhar is currently in judicial custody following his arrested by the ED.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in sanctioning six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore to Videocon Industries Limited, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and four other companies associated with the Videocon group between June 2009 and October 2011.

Chanda Kochhar, in a separate matter, has appealed against an order of the Bombay High Court which declined to entertain her petition against her sacking as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of ICICI Bank.

The ED is also probing her role in at least two other instances of loans given by ICICI Bank to Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech and to Bhushan Steel Group. These cases are being probed on alleged money laundering charges.

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