ICICI loan irregularities case: Bombay High Court refuses urgent hearing to Chanda Kochhar, husband against CBI arrest

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused urgent hearing on a petition moved by former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her spouse Deepak Kochhar, challenging their illegal arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case connected to irregularities in loans provided to Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon Group.

The petition by the Kochhar couple was mentioned today before a vacation bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar and Justice SG Chapalgaonkar.

The bench refused to grant urgent hearing to Kochhar deeming it not fit for it.

The counsel for Kochhars Advocate Kushal Mor said that the arrest of the same was illegal on two grounds.

As per the counsel the agency did not have sanction which is mandatory under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act for arresting a public servant.

It also stated that the arrest had been carried out 4 years after the registration of the FIR,which itself is a gross violation of Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Taking this all into consideration the Advocate Mor had requested the Court to urgently hear the matter for quashing the remand order and releasing Kochhars till the petition is finally heard.

The vacation bench did not find the seeking quashing of an order and FIR of importance to be given urgent hearing.

The bench asked Mor to approach the regular court for bail.

The Bench told the counsel for Kochhars to approach the regular benches once High Court reopens after the winter break.

The couple was arrested on December 24 by CBI in New Delhi and produced before a Special CBI Court in Mumbai on December 25.

Chanda is accused of cheating and irregularities in loan of ₹3,250 crore granted in 2012 to the Videocon Group. The loan had become a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank.

A whistleblower alleged in the complaint that Kochhar's husband and her family members benefited from the dealings.

It was alleged that when Kochhar was at the helm of affairs at ICICI Bank, she cleared a loan for Videocon Group of Companies. As quid pro quo, her husband's company Nu Renewable allegedly received investment from Videocon.

The loan later turned into a NPA and was termed as bank fraud.

The Kochhars are in CBI custody till tomorrow.