Videocon-ICICI Bank Loan Fraud: Arrest Of Chanda Kochhar, Husband Amounted To Power Abuse Says Bombay HC

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Former ICICI Bank MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar’s arrest in the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan fraud case is an abuse of power by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said the Bombay High Court. The HC said it was carried out “without application of mind and due regard to the law”.

The duo was arrested on December 23, 2022.

In its order, the Bombay HC said, “Such routine arrest without application of mind and due regard to the law amounts to an abuse of power.”

It said that the CBI’s attempt to “demonstrate the existence of circumstances or supportive material”—the grounds upon which it had arrested the couple—had failed.

“The absence of such circumstances renders the arrest illegal,” the court said on February 19.

The CBI’s claim that the Kochhars were not assisting with the inquiry was also rejected by the Bombay High Court, which stated that the accused’s “right to silence emanates from Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution, which gives an accused the right against self-incrimination.”

“Suffice it to say that exercise of the right to remain silent cannot be equated with non-cooperation,” the HC said.

The most recent development occurred more than two weeks after the court upheld a division bench decision granting Chanda Kochhar temporary bail.

The Bombay High Court granted Kochhar temporary bail because there was probable cause for an illegal arrest.