ICICI bank fraud case: Videocon's Venugopal Dhoot gets interim bail
Videocon Group chairperson Venugopal Dhoot was granted interim bail on Friday by the Bombay High Court, almost a month after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested him in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan fraud case. A division bench of justices P.K. Chavan and Revati Mohite Dere instructed Dhoot's release on a bail bond of Rs. 1 lakh, reported the news agency PTI.
Why does this story matter?
- Last year on December 26, Dhoot was arrested by CBI in the multicrore money laundering case involving ICICI Bank and the conglomerate.
- The CBI had also arrested former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband in the same case on January 9.
- The Videocon Group chairperson's release comes just days after the release of the Kochhars in the case.
HC bench rejects CBI's stay order appeal in the case
The High Court bench also rejected the investigation body's appeal to stay its order in the case so that it could approach the Supreme Court of India with a plea. Furthermore, the court rejected an appeal pushed by an advocate demanding to intervene in the case and for the bench to recall its previous order approving bail to two other accused in the case.
Dhoot currently in judicial custody
Sandeep Laddha, Dhoot's advocate, has continued to claim that his client's arrest was unnecessary as he had cooperated with the investigation. However, the CBI opposed the move, arguing that the Videocon Group chairperson had tried to avoid the investigation, thus the arrest was lawful. The 71-year-old is in judicial custody and has moved the court to quash CBI's First Information Report (FIR) against him.
Dhoot's arrest violation of section 41 (A)
Dhoot, in his bail appeal, called his arrest "arbitrary, illegal, done without following due procedure of law and in gross violation of section 41 (A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which mandates for a notice to be issued to accused to join the probe and to make an arrest only if absolutely necessary."
ICICI Bank sanctioned credit facilities of Rs. 3,250 cr
CBI claimed that the bank approved credit facilities of Rs. 3,250 crore to these companies in violation of the norms. Furthermore, the investigation bureau claimed Dhoot invested Rs. 64 crore as a quid pro quo in the Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL), and moved SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust under Deepak Kochhar's management through a circuitous route from 2010 to 2012.
Violation of RBI's laws: CBI
As per the investigation agency, the sanctioning of credit facilities to Videocon Group companies by ICICI Bank violates the Banking Regulation Act and the laws laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).