The Bombay High Court will hear on Tuesday a petition filed by Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot seeking to declare his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the ICICI-Videocon bank loan fraud case as "arbitrary and illegal" and to be released on bail.
Dhoot's plea was mentioned by his advocate Sandeep Ladda on Monday afternoon before a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and P K Chavan, which said it would hear it on Tuesday.
The same bench earlier on Monday granted interim bail to Dhoot's co-accused in the case - former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
The HC, in its judgment, came down heavily on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for making the arrest of Kochhars in a "casual and mechanical" manner and without the application of mind.
Dhoot was arrested on December 26, 2022, and is presently in judicial custody.
In his plea, he has sought for the CBI FIR to be quashed and for the probe to be stayed, as well as his release on bail.
Dhoot has termed his arrest by the CBI as "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".
As per the CBI, private sector lender ICICI Bank had sanctioned credit facilities to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore to the companies of Videocon Group promoted by Dhoot in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, Reserve Bank of India's guidelines, and credit policy of the bank.
The central probe agency had named the Kochhars, Dhoot, Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics and Videocon Industries as accused in the FIR registered in 2019 under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
As per the CBI, as part of quid pro quo, Dhoot made an investment of Rs 64 crore in Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL), and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.
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