The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday registered a case against ICICI Bank’s former CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar, MD of Nupower Renewables, in connection with the alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,250 crore ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case.
Besides Chanda and her husband Deepak, the investigating agency also named Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot, companies Nupower Renewables, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries limited as accused in the FIR registered under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of prevention of corruption act.
Express Explained: What the CBI is trying to unravel in the Videocon-Kochhar deal
The CBI statement also said that searches are being carried out at four places in Mumbai and Aurangabad.
As first reported by The Indian Express, Dhoot provided crores of rupees to a firm he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. The amount was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon group secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by SBI.
Dhoot gave Rs 64 crore in 2010 through a fully owned entity to NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), which he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two of his relatives. He transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh, six months after he received the loan from ICICI Bank.
Almost 86 per cent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan (Rs 2,810 crore) remains unpaid. The Videocon account was declared an NPA in 2017.
Meanwhile, in October 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had indicated that it has not yet given a clean chit to ICICI Bank, and its MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, on the issue of conflict of interest, quid pro quo and corporate governance violations while extending loans.
Responding to a query from The Indian Express under the Right To Information (RTI) Act on the action taken against ICICI Bank and Chanda Kochhar, the central bank had said: “RBI is engaged with ICICI Bank in the matter and investigations by external agencies in the matter have not attained finality. As such, the disclosure at this stage of information sought is likely to harm the competitive position of the bank and may also impede the process of investigation.”
Chanda Kochhar had quit as Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank on October 4, six months after the first report by The Indian Express.
HERE IS THE INDIAN EXPRESS INVESTIGATION THAT UNEARTHED THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.