ICICI Bank loan row: CBI registers FIR against Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot; conducts raids at Videocon Group's offices
The search operation started Thursday morning and also covered offices of Nupower, a company operated by ICICI Bank's former CEO Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar
It is alleged that Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in Nupower
The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry against Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar in March 2018
In April last year, Corporate Affairs Ministry had ordered inspection of six companies, including NuPower Renewables
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday named former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot and others as accused in Videocon loan case, media reports said.
The investigative agency filed an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,250 crore ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case and carried out searches on Thursday at the Videocon Group headquarters in Mumbai and offices in Aurangabad, officials said.
The search operation started on Thursday morning and also covered offices of Nupower, a company operated by Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak and Supreme Energy, they said.
CBI registered a case against Chanda Kochhar, the then MD & CEO of ICICI Bank,Deepak Kochhar,V N Dhoot, MD of Videocon group and others. It is alleged that accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI Bank pic.twitter.com/YX5qLqNLao
— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2019
It is alleged that Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in Nupower months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012, they said.
The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry against Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others in March last year, they said.
A preliminary enquiry is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.
The agency has now converted it into an FIR which means a full-blown investigation has been started by the agency after registration of a case.
In December last year, the Corporate Affairs Ministry's had said that the inspection of the books of six companies linked to the ICICI Bank controversy was at an "advanced stage".
On 23 April last year, the ministry had ordered inspection of six companies, including NuPower Renewables.
There are allegations of involvement of former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to Videocon Group on a quid pro quo basis.
Amid the raging controversy, Chanda Kochhar stepped down as the bank's Managing Director and CEO in October.
Recently, the Justice BN Srikrishna panel, which is probing allegations against Chanda Kochhar, had reportedly sought replies from the former ICICI Bank CEO and other involved entities.
In September, the panel had said that it would go through all property dealings by the Kochhar family since she took over as CEO of ICICI Bank. ICICI Bank board had asked the panel to examine whether properties and assets acquired by the Kochhar family were purchased at concessional prices.
Market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had served a notice to Kochhar on dealings of the bank with Videocon Group and Nupower.
As per SEBI's preliminary probe, Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak had many business dealings with the Videocon group over the past several years.
In October, Law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas withdrew its 2016 report that had given a clean chit to former ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kochhar with regard to nepotism allegations against her.
With inputs from PTI
To keep watching India’s No. 1 English Business News Channel – CNBC-TV18, call your Cable or DTH Operator and ask for the Colors Family Pack (inclusive of 24 channels), available for Rs. 35/- per month, or subscribe to the channel for Rs. 4/- per day.
To keep watching the Leader in Global Market & Business News – CNBC-TV18 Prime HD, call your Cable or DTH Operator and ask for the Colors Family HD Pack (inclusive of 25 channels), available for Rs. 50/- per month, or subscribe to the channel for Rs. 1/- per day.
Ram Rahim and four others were convicted on 8 October for the murder of Ram Rahim's former manager Ranjit Singh in 2002
The Dera chief is already serving jail time of 20 years for raping his women followers
Following an FIR, the agency conducted searches at nine locations, including residential and office premises of the accused in Mumbai and Kolhapur