Even as ICICI Bank assured that the enquiry instituted by its board against Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of the bank, will remain unaffected after her decision to take early retirement, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is yet to summon and question Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in connection with the alleged nexus between Deepak Kochhar-run Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd and Venugopal Dhoot-promoted Videocon Group, sources told The Indian Express.
On March 31, the CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) into the sanctioning of a Rs 3,250-crore loan to the Videocon Group by the ICICI Bank as part of a consortium of banks in 2012. Subsequently, it questioned Rajiv Kochhar, brother-in-law of Chanda Kochhar and owner of Avista Advisory, and a few officials of Nupower Renewables in connection with the preliminary enquiry.
However, six months since the CBI’s PE, the agency is yet to question either Deepak Kochhar or Chanda Kochhar. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had on March 6 summoned Chanda Kochhar to appear before the agency in connection with loans and guarantees extended to firms promoted by diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi accused of a bank fraud of Rs 13500 crore. However, Chanda Kochhar sought an exemption from appearing before the agency and suggested that a nodal person from the bank be appointed to address all queries of the SFIO. Until now, the SFIO has not questioned Chanda Kochhar in the case.
HERE IS THE INDIAN EXPRESS INVESTIGATION THAT UNEARTHED THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Chanda Kochhar and ICICI Bank also face allegations of lapses in disclosure concerning dealings between the bank and Videocon group and certain dealings allegedly between Videocon Group and NuPower Renewables. Sebi had issued notices to ICICI Bank and Chanda Kochhar on May 24, 2018 asking responses on the matter relating to alleged non-compliance with certain provisions of listing and disclosure requirements.
Both Kochhar and the bank have claimed there has been no regulatory violation on their part and that Kochhar was not aware of specific business dealings of her husband. Sebi is yet to initiate personal hearings in the case as a part of its adjudication process.