Interim bail: SC disposes of CBI’s plea against Chanda Kochhar, her husband

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the CBI’s plea challenging last year’s Bombay High Court order granting interim bail to former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her businessman-husband Deepak Kochhar in the loan fraud case.

A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal disposed of the petition after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the probe agency, said the high court has delivered its verdict last week in the main case but the judgement has not been uploaded yet.

On February 6, the Bombay High Court held as “illegal” the arrest of Chanda Kochhar and her husband by the CBI and confirmed its January 2023 interim order granting bail to the couple.

The apex court said it is disposing of the CBI’s plea but the either side will have the liberty to challenge the main verdict of the high court in accordance with law. “We clarify that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case,” the bench said.

The couple was arrested by the CBI on December 23, 2022 in the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan case. They immediately moved the high court challenging their arrest and sought it to be declared as illegal. They also sought to be released on bail as an interim relief.

On January 9, 2023, the high court, in its interim order, granted them bail and came down hard on the CBI for making the arrest in a “casual and mechanical” manner without application of mind.

The CBI challenged the interim order before the apex court.

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