Bombay HC grants interim bail to V N Dhoot in ICICI Bank loan fraud case

MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Friday granted interim bail to Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, 72, who alleged that his December 26, 2022 arrest by Central Bureau of

Investigation (CBI) in connection with the ICICI Bank loan fraud FIR registered in January 2019, was unlawful and flouted mandatory procedures under the criminal law. The HC

bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and PK Chavan allowed Dhoot to be released on furnishing cash bail of Rs 1 lakh and to furnish a surety in like amount later. The

reasoned order will follow. On January 13, the HC had concluded hearing and reserved for orders, Dhoot’s petition. The CBI case is that Dhoot’s company Videocon

International Electronics Ltd with no business operation flow, sought a Rs 300 crore Rupee Term Loan from ICICI Bank. Team led by Chanda Kochhar as MD of the Bank approved the

loan only on a corporate guarantee. While the loan was under consideration Dhoot in a "quid pro quo" issued a cheque of Rs 64 crore in favor of Nupower Renewables Ltd. (Run by

Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar) from the account of his company Supreme Energy Pvt. Ltd (SEPL) which had a balance of only Rs 34,702. Once the loan was encashed, the

amount also reached NuPower. The CBI in its grounds for arrest said Dhoot is named as accused, along with the Kochhars in its January 22, 2019 FIR for offences of cheating,

criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI said Dhoot “has been inconsistent in his statement before the Investigating officer and has kept on

changing his version and as such has not cooperated with the investigation in disclosing the full and true facts of the case.’’