PMLA case: Deepak Kochhar challenges special court order against him
Deepak Kochhar, the husband of former managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, has approached Bombay high court (HC), seeking quashing of the January 30 order of the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court which had directed initiation of process against him being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The agency’s investigation relates to siphoning off high value loans from ICICI Bank worth ₹300 crore.
Kochhar has claimed that while in 2020, the statutory adjudicating authority under PMLA had clearly stated that the said property was not proceeds of crime, ED had suppressed the fact before the special court and got an order for seizure. In light of this, Kochhar sought quashing of the PMLA court order.
In the petition filed through advocate Dadhichi Mhaispurkar, Kochhar has challenged the order of the special judge which is based on the Enforcement Case Information Report of ED. Through the order, the special judge had not only taken cognisance but also summoned Kochhar as well as other accused in the offence.
The petition stated that the order is without jurisdiction and was obtained by ED after suppression of the fact that on November 6, 2020, the adjudicating authority under PMLA Act had held: “The very same properties which are alleged as proceeds of crime in the prosecution complaint did not amount to proceeds of crime and thus not involved in money laundering.”
Kochhar has also pointed out that in 2019 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not found any evidence to file a charge sheet against Kochhar or any other person.
The petition stated that the special court’s order amounted to violation of his rights under Article 21 and hence sought its quashing, and also sought a stay on the operation of the order till the petition is heard.
The petition will come up for hearing on Wednesday.