[ICICI-Videocon Loan Fraud Case] Supreme Court dismisses private party's challenge to bail granted to Venugopal Dhoot

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"The agency will challenge the bail, how can you approach us..", the bench observed while dismissing the plea.


A CJI DY Chandrachud led bench today refused to allow a private party's plea challenging the interim relief granted to Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot in the ICICI-Videocon Loan fraud case.

The plea moved by Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay was dismissed after the CJI said, "How can you challenge a bail? You are a private party.."

Justice Narasimha, who was also a part of the bench told the petitioner before it, even a de facto complainant does not have a right to challenge the bail.

Advocate Subhash Jha, who was appearing on behalf of Upadhyay told court, "Locas standi is foreign to criminal jurisprudence. CBI should have done it, this is an economic offence.. if they would have agreed to take up the challenge , we would have let it be".

Notably, Ghanshyam had also approached the Bombay High Court, filed an IA in the bail plea filed by Dhoot which was dismissed.

In January, 2023, a Bombay High Court division bench comprising Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice PK Chavan had granted interim relief to Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot.

Court had ordered that Dhoot would be released from judicial custody after depositing a bail bond of Rs. 1 lakh rupees.

Dhoot was arrested after Chanda Kochhar granted a loan of Rs. 3250 crores to the Videocon Group which were later declared as Non-Performing Assets. Allegedly, Venugopal Dhoot, as a quid pro quo, made investments in the company of Deepak Kochhar.

Dhoot had earlier filed a plea before the Special Judge seeking to declare his arrest as illegal. However, the special judge rejected his contentions while declaring his arrest as legal and remanded him to judicial custody. Dhoot then moved the high court challenging the order of the Special Judge.

Advocate Ladda, appearing for Dhoot, had argued that the mandate of Section 41 of CrPC was not followed by the police. He relied on the investigation done by the ED in the connected case and submitted that Dhoot had appeared before ED multiple times and also during COVID. He further argued that Dhoot is 72 years old and has several health conditions.

On the other hand, Senior Advocate Raja Thakare argued that the investigation done by CBI and ED was on a different footing and that the charges under which Dhoot had been booked were also different. Further, he argued that there were instances where co-accused Kochhar and Dhoot had made attempts not to appear before the agency together.

Thakare said that they could interrogate three of them only twice. However, Advocate Ladda submitted that the three of them were never confronted together.

Case Title: Ghanshyam Upadhyay vs. Venugopal Nandlal Dhoot