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ICICI-Videocon loan case: CBI registers PE against Chanda Kochhar’s husband, questions bank officials

The CBI will soon call Deepak Kochhar for questioning along with some ICICI bank officials to ascertain if there was any wrongdoing in the sanctioning of a loan to Videocon group.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2018 15:43 IST
Agencies, New Delhi
ICICI,Videocon loan,Videocon
An ICICI bank branch in New Delhi. A preliminary enquiry is being conducted to determine if there is enough evidence of wrongdoing for a case to be taken up for detailed investigation. (File Photo)

The CBI registered a preliminary enquiry against Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, officials of the Videocon group and others to determine whether any wrongdoing was involved in the sanctioning of a Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group by the ICICI Bank Ltd as part of a consortium of banks in 2012.

CBI sources said that Chanda Kochhar, against whom conflict of interest questions have been raised, has not been named in the PE as of now.

They said that Deepak Kochhar will soon be called for questioning, while a few ICICI bank officials were questioned.

Agency officials said they are also studying relevant documents of the transaction and if they come across any evidence that indicates wrongdoing, ICICI bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar along with others could be summoned for detailed questioning.

They said the statements of nodal officers of the ICICI, who were part of processing the loan of about Rs 3,250 crore, have been recorded as part of the PE registered six weeks back.

The said amount was part of a loan of Rs 40,000 crores which Videocon received from a consortium of 20 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI).

The PE has named Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot apart from Deepak and unknown others.

A PE is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.

The deal recently made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochchar.

Earlier this week, the ICICI Bank board came out in support of Chanda Kochhar, saying it has full faith and confidence in her and described certain reports against her regarding credit disbursement to Videocon group as “malicious and unfounded rumours”.

The board had also reviewed the banks internal processes for credit approval and found them robust, the private sector lender had said in a statement.

With regard to loans to the Videocon group, it said the banks current exposure is part of a syndicated consortium arrangement.

“ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs 3,250 crore which was less than 10 per cent of the total consortium facility in April 2012,” it added.

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 13:43 IST