The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of former ICICI Bank CEO-cum-MD Chanda Kochhar and her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar on a plea by the CBI challenging the interim bail granted to them by the Bombay High Court in a loan fraud case.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi issued notice on the plea of the CBI and sought the response of the couple in three weeks.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the CBI, said the high court proceeded on the wrong presumption that an offense is punishable with a maximum of seven years imprisonment without considering Section 409 of the IPC (criminal breach of trust by public servant), which entails a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment.
The bench asked Raju how Section 409 of the IPC came into play when it was a private bank. Raju replied that the bank may be private but it involves public money.
The bench said it is issuing notice and seeking their reply in three weeks.
On January 9, the high court pulled up the CBI for arresting the couple in a “casual and mechanical” manner and “clearly without application of mind” in the loan fraud case and granted them interim bail.
The CBI arrested the Kochhars on December 23, 2022 in connection with the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan fraud case.