The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Friday, arrested former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by the bank to the Videocon Group in 2012.
The CBI had booked Chanda Kochhar, her husband and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Group, along with companies Nupower Renewables, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Limited, as accused in the FIR registered under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
It is alleged that Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in Nupower months after the Videocon Group got ₹3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012, they said.
Indian enforcement authorities previously alleged that ICICI Bank, under Chanda Kochhar, sanctioned “high value” loans to Videocon Industries, violating the bank’s lending policies.
In exchange, the authorities alleged, Videocon’s owner invested in NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochhar. The multi-crore money laundering scam was being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Kochhar, one of the main accused in the ICICI-Videocon loan case, was arrested by the ED in September last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the alleged money laundering case.
Videocon Group had made around 28 proposals to the ICICI Bank, of which, around eight were sanctioned. Chanda Kochhar was part of the sanctioning as well as recommending committee in four such proposals.
ICICI Bank sanctioned loans worth ₹1,875 crore between 2009 and 2011 to the Group. Most of these loans were in complete violation of banking regulations and ICICI Bank policies. Chanda Kochhar was the CEO and Managing Director of the ICICI Bank then.
Within months of sanctioning of the loans, Dhoot’s Supreme Energy granted a loan of ₹64 crore to NuPower Renewables, in which Deepak Kochhar has 50% stake.
Investigators allege the ₹64 crore loan to Kochhar’s firm was part of a quid pro quo deal.
The ED, during its investigation, found that loans sanctioned to the Videocon Group were kept alive by evergreen IMG or refinancing of loans worth around ₹1,730 crore, which turned into NPA in June 2017.