Supreme Court rejects ED's plea against bail to Deepak Kochhar in money laundering case
Dismissing the ED's appeal, a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that the legal issued raised in the plea be kept open for adjudication in an appropriate case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the Bombay High Court's decision granting bail to Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.
Dismissing the ED's appeal, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the probe agency, that the legal issued raised in the plea be kept open for adjudication in an appropriate case.
Having heard solicitor general appearing on behalf of the petitioner and carefully perusing the material placed on record, we see no reason to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court granting bail to respondent No.1 (Deepak Kochhar) herein.
The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed. As a sequel to the above, pending interlocutory application also stands disposed of. However, the question of law is kept open to be decided in an appropriate case, the bench, which also comprised Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, ordered.
On March 25 last year, a single judge bench of the Bombay High Court granted Kochar bail in the money laundering case and said there was no likelihood of him absconding or tampering with evidence.
Kochhar had approached the high court after a special Mumbai court rejected his bail plea in December 2020.
The high court had directed Kochhar to surrender his passport before the special court in the city hearing the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, and asked him to cooperate with the probe.
Kochhar was arrested by the ED in September 2020 under the PMLA in the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case.
The ED had registered the money laundering case following an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the Kochhar couple, Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, and others for allegedly causing loss to the ICICI Bank by sanctioning loans to the Videocon Group of companies in contravention of the bank's policies.
Kochhar had argued that the ED had taken note of all the alleged proceeds of the crime in the case so there was no chance of him creating any third party rights or interfering with the probe if out on bail.
He had also said in his bail plea that the entire case against him was based on documentary evidence, which was already in the ED's possession, and hence there was no question of him tampering with the evidence.
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