Chanda Kochhar, the former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot’s custody was extended by a special court until Thursday after the CBI on Wednesday requested their detention in the loan case for two further days.
Both the Kochhar couple and Dhoot were taken into custody last Friday.
The three defendants needed to be thoroughly questioned about the extensive case materials, according to special public prosecutor A Limosin, in order to “discover criminal conspiracy with other unknown public workers and unknown private persons.” The accused remained in court till 6 p.m. on Monday, and even though the CBI was given custody of them for three days, the investigation could not begin until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the prosecutor.
The Kochhar couple’s attorneys, Kushal Mor and Rohan Dakshini, contested the remand and argued that the CBI had not provided any new justifications for the prolongation. Additionally, it was argued that the arrests were unlawful since they lacked the mandatory punishment required by the Prevention of Corruption Act. The custody extension was also opposed by Dhoot’s attorney, S S Ladda, who claimed that the court had not presented any fresh evidence regarding the investigation in the previous three days.
However, the special court deemed the offence to be serious and gave the CBI an additional day to prepare.
According to the CBI, six businesses belonging to the Videocon Group received a rupee term loan from ICICI Bank totaling Rs 1,875 crore between 2009 and 2011. Out of these six loans, the CBI asserted that Kochhar served on two committees, including one for Rs 300 crore, and claimed that Dhoot was the “ultimate beneficiary” of irregularities.