New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) against ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar in the alleged involvement of a loan provided to Videocon group on quid pro quo basis.
The latter had availed Rs 3,250 crore loan from the bank, of which Rs 2,810 crore remained unpaid and was declared NPA in 2017.
“Venugopal Dhoot, promoter of Videocon Group, Deepak Kochhar (husband of ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar) and unknown others have been named as suspects in the PE,” a CBI official told Hindustan Times.
The official said Chanda Kochhar had not been named as a suspect in the case.
In 2012, a consortium of over 20 banks and financial institutions had sanctioned facilities to Videocon Industries Limited, 12 of its subsidiaries and associates as co-obligors for a debt consolidation programme, and for the group’s oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to Rs 40,000 crore.
ICICI maintained that it was not the lead bank for the consortium and that it only sanctioned its share of the facilities aggregating to Rs 3,250 crore.
Whistleblower and Trustee of Indian Investors Protection Council, Arvind Gupta had earlier claimed that Chanda Kochhar was a beneficiary of the loan.
“Evidence shows strong links that Chanda Kochhar and her family are a huge beneficiary of this loan. Government should order investigation and audit to check why loan was given to a sinking company,” Gupta told ANI.
Deepak Kochhar is an indirect beneficiary of the loan granted to Videocon, according to Gupta.
“Venugopal Dhoot transferred money from Videocon Group to Supreme Energy, in which he had 90 percent shares. He promoted it and later transferred it to Deepak Kochhar. Deepak Kochhar then transferred his shareholdings to Pinnacle Energy. Pinnacle Energy was a trust formed by Kochhar family. Now they are saying they sold their shares of Nupower Renewables much before.
NuPower Renewables was special purpose vehicle made to revert allegations in future. ICICI never gave it loan, but company was benefited,” Gupta claimed.