PMLA tribunal directs "status quo" on Chanda Kochhar's properties

The tribunal ordered that the nature of the properties, attached by the ED, will not be altered by Kochhars until next hearing.
The appellate tribunal for Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Thursday, directed status quo on the properties belonging to ICICI Bank’s former managing director Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). 

The next hearing in the matter is slated for February. The tribunal ordered that the nature of the properties, attached by the ED, will not be altered by Kochhars until next hearing. The Kochhars' representatives were asked to give undertakings to the tribunal on the same.

A copy of order is yet to be issued. 

The federal agency moved the appellate tribunal last week, challenging the order of its own adjudicating authority, which refused to confirm the attachment made by ED. The agency had early this year, provisionally attached assets valued at Rs 78.15 crore, which include the Kochhar’s 2,230 sq ft Churchgate flat that has a book value of Rs 3.5 crore, as proceeds of crime.

During the hearing, the ED counsel also sought stay on the adjudication order, as the agency claimed that the impugned order, passed by the authority, went beyond its jurisdiction.

On November 6, the authority not only refused to confirm the attachment but also trashed the contention that a loan was given by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group following which an alleged kickback of Rs 64 crore was paid to Deepak Kochhar.

The adjudicating authority had said in the 800-page order that ICICI Bank’s Rs 300 crore loan to Videocon International Electronics (VIEL) in September 2009 was never declared a non-performing asset and was in line with the bank’s credit policy.

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