A SPECIAL court, which granted bail to former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar on Friday, said the need to send a woman, who has been conferred with Padma Bhushan and is a permanent resident of the city, to jail does not arise.
Kochhar has been named an accused in the prosecution complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case. She had not been arrested by the ED during the probe. As per procedure, she was summoned by the court after the agency filed the prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against her. Kochhar then appeared before the court and filed a formal plea for bail through her lawyer Vijay Aggarwal.
The ED opposed the plea but left it to the order of the court. Aggarwal in his plea had said keeping her in custody is not required since she is a permanent resident of the city, is a respectable citizen awarded with Padma Bhushan and ready to abide by all conditions.
“As per directions of apex court applicant was protected (from arrest) Therefore, question of again sending the applicant/accused in jail, who is a lady and was conferred India’s third civilian honours — Padma Bhushan, being a permanent resident of Mumbai residing with her family members and deep root in the society, will not arise. The question of absconding can be taken care of by directing the applicant/accused to surrender passport with respondent/Enforcement Directorate and not to leave India without prior permission of this court will suffice the ends of justice,” the court’s detailed order made available on Saturday said.
Kochhar’s husband, Deepak, was arrested in September and remains in jail.