New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar was granted bail on a bond of Rs 5 lakh by a Sessions Court in Mumbai on Friday in connection with a money laundering case involving ICICI Bank and Videocon Group companies. The court, however, asked her not to leave the country without its prior permission.

Chanda Kochhar, who appeared before the special Judge A A Nandgoankarand on Friday, was summoned by the court on January 30 along with her husband Deepak Kochhar.

"There is no material with the ED against her. Technically speaking she cannot be accused in that case," said Kochhar's lawyer Vijay Agarwal while speaking to news agency IANS.

"Moreover she is a woman and has cooperated during investigation, so she is covered by the provision under section 45 of the PMLA," he added.

The court had earlier asked Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its reply on her bail application.

The ED had arrested Deepak Kochhar in September 2020 after it filed a criminal case for money laundering based on an FIR registered by the CBI against the Kochhars, Dhoot and others.

The ED has alleged that Rs 64 crore, out of a loan amount of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee of ICICI Bank headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics Limited, was transferred to Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL) by Videocon Industries on September 8, 2009, a day after the disbursement of loan.

NRPL was earlier known as Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL) and is owned by Deepak Kochhar, the ED had said.

Taking cognisance of the charge sheet, Judge A A Nandgoankar had observed, "After going through the submissions, written complaints and statements recorded under PMLA, it appears that Chanda Kochhar had misused her official position in granting loan to accused Dhoot and/or Videocon group companies".

"And (it appears) she got illegal gratification/undue advantage through her husband...through various companies for siphoning off money and proceeds of crime," the court had said.

The material produced by the ED constitutes the commission of offence, and it is "sufficient to proceed against the accused persons", the court had said.

(With PTI, IANS inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta