ICICI Bank loan row: CBI registers FIR against Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot; conducts raids at Videocon Group's offices

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.

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.

Representational image AFP

Representational image AFP

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



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Updated Date: Jan 24, 2019 15:33:20 IST

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