ICICI Bankwhile granting permission to prosecute its former managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar In case of corruption, communication CBI By July 2021, “the loans under investigation have been extinguished and the bank has not suffered any wrongful loss,” his lawyer told the court here on Saturday.
“…due process was followed while disbursing loans” but “in view of the allegations of bribery and corruption, we grant sanction”, counsel said. Amit Desai quoting the bank’s communication to the CBI.
He read out the contents of the bank’s letter opposing the agency’s request to detain the former banker and her businessman husband, who were arrested by the agency on Friday.
Kochhar faced investigation for alleged irregularities in granting loans to Videocon GroupRegistered under certain sections Prevention of Corruption Actwith charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy under Indian Penal Code. Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the approval of the competent authority is required for prosecution.
Desai argued that the CBI had missed the facts in the case.
“…when the bank has stated that there was no wrongful loss to the bank in any of these transactions, how can the CBI call it wrongful loss,” questioned Desai. The bank has clearly pointed out the factual errors in the CBI FIR, he said. “Contrary to CBI’s claim, the loans were sanctioned after due process,” he said, so no RBI guidelines were violated.
Desai also contended that the letter of consent to prosecute Kochar Signed by the Legal Head of ICICI Bank, he cannot be considered a “competent authority” to sanction prosecution of a Managing Director and CEO. “The permission was not given by the competent authority,” he said. ICICI Bank’s board gave permission to prosecute Kochhar, but its legal team informed the CBI, people in the know told ET. “It doesn’t matter who contacts … it may be an internal policy of a company, but the fact is that the bank has given permission to sue,” said one of them.
On the point that there was no wrongful loss to the bank, the person said the exact nature of the loss is being investigated by the CBI and will be detailed in its chargesheet.