ICICI-Videocon loan row

Mumbai : The CBI has started a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Chanda Kochhar’s husband  Deepak  Virendra Kochhar. This comes after ICICI bank shareholder Arvind Gupta accused Kochhar of allegedly  amassing wrongful personal gains after ICICI Bank sanctioned loans worth Rs 3,250 crore to various private companies belonging to the Videocon Industries Limited.

According to a CBI official, “The preliminary enquiry names Deepak Kochhar and has been registered to ascertain the allegations of nexus between Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot, the owner of Videocon group. The enquiry also mentions  names of a few bank officials.

CBI  has started collecting documents pertaining to the allegations. If  the allegations are proved,  then a First Information Report (FIR) will be registered against all those found guilty. Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot may soon be called for questioning by the agency.

Arvind Gupta, a Videocon investor has accused Chanda Kochhar of extending loans to the Videocon Group both in India and abroad ‘through companies established in tax heavens like the Cayman Islands and Mauritius. Gupta had alleged that Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar, who owns NuPower Renewable Group, amassed wrongful personal gains when ICICI Bank sanctioned loans worth Rs 3,250 crore to various private companies belonging to the Videocon Industries Limited.

Gupta had alleged that despite Supreme Energy, owned by Dhoot, funding a sum Rs 64 crore in NuPower Renewables, its shareholding in NuPower got reduced to just 2.32 per cent, whereas with the investments of only Rs 1.89 crore Deepak Kochhar acquired 92.67 per cent stake in NuPower Renewable Private Limited.

Deepak is the co-founder and CEO of NuPower Renewables which was set up in December 2008. NuPower Renewables was originally founded as a joint venture between Videocon Group’s Venugopal Dhoot family and Kochhar and Advani families (Chanda Kochhar’s brother, Mahesh Advani). During  that time Chanda was the CFO and Joint MD at ICICI Bank.

ICICI Bank had backed its CEO on Wednesday, saying that no individual employee, irrespective of his or her position, has the ability to influence credit decision at the bank. The  ICICI Bank further said that it was not the ‘lead bank’ for this consortium and sanctioned Rs 3250 crore which was less than 10 per cent of the total consortium facility in April 2012. The bank stated that while was on the committee, Chanda did not chair the committee which had many independent directors. It added that the Chairman of the Credit committee till as late as June 2015 was always a non-executive director.

CBI records statement of ICICI Nodal officers

The CBI on Saturday recorded statement of Nodal officers of ICICI Bank, who are allegedly involved in granting loan to the promoter of Videocon Group Venugopal Dhoot.

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