ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy: SFIO, CBI have not yet summoned Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak, says report

In March, the CBI had registered a preliminary investigation into Rs 3,250-crore loan ICICI Bank had extended to Videocon in 2012 and the possible role of Deepak Kochhar, days after a conflict of interest was alleged over the bank’s loans to Videocon group.

FP Staff October 05, 2018 08:17:26 IST
ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy: SFIO, CBI have not yet summoned Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak, says report

Neither the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) nor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Chanda Kochhar, former Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank, whose early retirement was accepted by the Bank Board on Thursday, according to a media report.

The CBI has yet to summon and question Kochhar and her husband Deepak for the alleged nexus between the latter’s firm NuPower Renewables and the Videocon Group, a report in the Indian Express said.

In March, the CBI had registered a preliminary investigation into Rs 3,250-crore loan ICICI Bank had extended to Videocon in 2012 and the possible role of Deepak Kochhar, days after a conflict of interest was alleged over the bank’s loans to Videocon group.

The allegations against Kochhar pertain to 'conflict of interest' and 'quid pro quo' in the bank's dealing with certain borrowers. There are allegations of involvement of Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to Videocon group on a quid pro quo basis.

ICICI BankVideocon loan controversy SFIO CBI have not yet summoned Chanda Kochhar husband Deepak says report

A file photo of ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar. PTI

Reports had alleged that Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested Rs 64 crore in NuPower Renewables after Videocon secured a loan from a consortium of banks, including ICICI.

The Audit Committee of the bank had instituted in June an independent enquiry, headed by former Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna, to probe various allegations against Kochhar.

Pending the enquiry, Kochhar was on a leave of absence since 19 June 2018 and in the interim the bank had appointed Sandeep Bakshi as the Chief Operating Officer.

On Thursday, in a letter to stock exchanges, the ICICI Bank Board had announced that it had accepted Kochhar’s request to seek early retirement. Her team was set to expire on 31 March, 2018.

The board said certain benefits will be subject to the outcome of the enquiry . "Ms Kochhar will also relinquish office from the Board of Directors of the Bank's subsidiaries," it added.

The reasons for her ouster pertain to the loan to Videocon and the business dalliances between its promoter Venugopal Dhoot and her husband Deepak Kochhar, a PTI report said. Dhoot had invested in and subsequently exited a power company promoted by Deepak and Chanda Kochhar did not recuse herself or disclose this when a loan was granted by ICICI Bank to Videocon as part of a consortium.

Initially, she enjoyed full backing of the board but lost support as the list of allegations kept growing with more names like an Essar group shell company of the Ruias also emerging among those with whom the Kochhar family had a relationships.

However, the gains from the Ruia ties were only a fraction of Videocon's loan of Rs 3,250 crore in FY11 which soon turned dud.

These allegations led to probes by multiple agencies, including the CBI, ED and SFIO, and also questioning of the Kochhar family members.

Kochhar, 56, with over three decades of banking service experience was appointed as Executive Director of the bank from April 2001. She was designated as Deputy Managing Director effective April 29, 2006 and Joint Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer effective 19 October 2007.

--With agency inputs

 

 

 

 

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