Hours after he was discharged from a private hospital in Delhi since him testing negative for Covid-19, Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar, the former ICICI Bank MD and CEO, was sent to the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) till October 17.
The 59 year old was flown to Mumbai on Tuesday and produced before a special court where the ED sought his five-day custody. Arrested on September 7 in connection with the ICICI-Videocon loans case, Kochhar was taken to Delhi for further investigation. On September 14, he had tested positive for Covid-19 and had been undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital since.
The ED had submitted to the Mumbai court that since Kochhar was under treatment, the custody period granted to the agency should be suspended.
The court accordingly had ordered Kochhar to be sent to judicial custody and directed the agency to produce him before it within two days after his discharge. The ED on Tuesday sought his further custody stating that the probe in the case is yet to be completed. Kochhar’s lawyers Vijay Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal opposed this stating that he is still weak and as per the hospital’s advice, requires a minimum of two weeks of rest.
They also submitted that he requires post-Covid care as per the government’s guidelines.
Chanda Kochhar, who was present in the court, submitted that her husband had suffered from the virus for three weeks and continues to have various ailments and weakness.
The court said that since Kocchar tested positive on September 14 while in ED custody, he was ordered to be sent to judicial custody but the probe needs to continue.
“(At) that time, priority was given to his health issue and therefore, ED custody was suspended. While considering rights and liberty of accused, we cannot ignore that investigation agency also gets fair opportunity for investigation,” the court said while remanding Kochhar to ED custody.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines