A court in Delhi on Friday directed concerned authorities to withdraw a lookout circular issued against businessman Rajiv Kochhar, the brother-in-law of former ICICI Bank Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar, and allowed him to return to Singapore, PTI reported. Rajiv Kochhar, who is an accused in the Videocon Group loan case, had moved the court last month seeking cancellation of the lookout notice.
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra told Special Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna that the businessman came to India because of the summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate, and was questioned a number of times. The investigating agency’s counsel said Rajiv Kochhar can leave the country only after furnishing a fresh itinerary and his e-mail address, home address and contact numbers in Singapore.
“Since the applicant responded to the summons of the ED and made himself available for the purpose of investigation, the purpose of LOC stands served,” said the judge.
Rajiv Kochhar was asked to submit photocopies of his passport and bank accounts in India, and inform the investigating agency about his travels outside Singapore. He was also directed to submit Rs 25-lakh security bond. The court directed the businessman not to make any threat, inducement or promise to anyone familiar with the facts of the case to dissuade them from disclosing facts to the court or to the police.
The case against Kochhars
Chanda Kochhar resigned in October after questions were raised about a Rs 3,250-crore loan that the bank had given to the Videocon group in 2012. Six months after the loan was sanctioned, Videocon Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot allegedly provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables, which was founded by the former banker’s husband Deepak Kochhar.
The CBI filed a case against the Kochhars, Dhoot, and others on January 27 after carrying out searches at the headquarters of Videocon Group in Mumbai and its offices in Aurangabad, and offices of NuPower. The CBI has alleged that the accused sanctioned the loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with others in order to cheat the private lender. Rajiv Kochhar’s company Avista Advisory is being investigated for its suspected role in the restructuring of the loan.
In February, ICICI Bank sacked Chanda Kochhar, accusing her of violating its code of conduct and internal policies. The same month, the Central Bureau of Investigation issued a lookout circular against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Rajiv Kochhar. In March, the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at the homes and offices of Chanda Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot in a case of money laundering. The agency also searched the office of Nupower Renewables.