A day after the Bombay High Court termed her arrest illegal and ordered that she and her husband be freed, former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar today walked out of jail. She, along with her husband Deepak Kochhar, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 23 in a case linked to alleged irregularities in an over Rs 3,000-crore loan provided to the Videocon Group when she was heading the private sector bank.
The relief comes just days before her son’s wedding on January 15.
The court had yesterday said the reason to arrest the couple after four years of registering the case was not spelt out in the arrest memos, as mandated. “The ground for arrest of the petitioners mentioned in the arrest memos is in clear breach of the mandatory provisions,” it said.
The High Court also said that just because “an accused does not confess, it cannot be said that the accused have not co-operated with the investigation.”
The Kochhars had earlier argued before the court that their arrest was illegal as under the Prevention of Corruption Act, sanction under Sec 17A of the Act is mandatory to initiate a probe, and the agency hasn’t got any such sanction to initiate this investigation.
Venugopal Dhoot, Chairman of the Videocon Group, was also arrested by the CBI in the ICICI loan case.
Chanda Kochhar has rejected all corruption charges in the case.