On Friday, the ED submitted to the Apex Court that regarding the money laundering case, coercive actions have not been taken against Chanda Kochhar, former CEO of ICICI Bank and MD. The bench comprising of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Hrishikesh Roy and S.K. Kaul, were informed that no coercive measures would be taken with regards to the ICICI Bank-Videocon Group matter. Justice Kaul stated that while there is a sword hanging on their heads, there is no rush.
The counsel for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi submitted before the Court that they had been fully exonerated by the PMLA authorities. The matter was adjourned considering that SG Tushar Mehta was occupied in another court. It was recorded that until the next hearing, the earlier arrangement will be applicable. Addressing the another related matter opposing the arrest of Chanda Kochhar’s husband, Advocate Zoheb Hossain argued that there was an abuse of the process of law. Her husband is currently in jail.
To which, Mr. Rohatgi answered by saying “Then argue! I am ready” This matter too was adjourned due to the SG’s unavailability, considering that interim protection has already been established. The issue of the default bail of Kochhar’s husband was brought up. His application for regular bail is to be addressed by the trial court on Monday. A request was made by Mr. Rohatgi, urging the judges to observe that the bail appeal be heard on Monday, in order to prevent it from becoming redundant.
The bench observed that the awaiting bail application pending in the Apex Court will not hinder the trial court’s decision regarding the regular bail application. Another connected matter, was the SLP against the Bombay High Court’s dismissal of Kochhar’s writ petition as unmaintainable, on March 5. Mr. Rohatgi argued that her resignation had been accepted and subsequently converted into a termination. He referred to Section 35B of the Banking Regulation Act and emphasised the necessity of the RBI’s prior consent. He opposed the dismissal of the writ petition.