Ex-ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, Videocon's Dhoot under CBI probe. All we know so far

Chanda Kochhar
Chanda Kochhar, former ICICI Bank chief

Indian Market
by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2022-12-27T12:15:06+05:30

There could be serious trouble ahead for former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, her husband and businessman Deepak Kochhar and Videocon’s promoter Venugopal Dhoot. 

The Central Bureau of Investigation has reportedly told a court that the Kochhars and Dhoot are not cooperating with the agency probing their role in the Rs 3,250-crore Videocon loan scam. 

When were the Kochhars and Dhoot arrested?

The Kochhars were arrested on December 24 in connection with the scam. The CBI later arrested Venugopal Dhoot, the Videocon group promoter, as part of the probe. Dhoot is also not cooperating with the investigators, the CBI said.

The court remanded the Kochhars to CBI custody till December 28.

What has the CBI actually alleged?

The central probe agency alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by the lender to Videocon group between 2009 and 2011 when Chanda Kochhar was heading the bank. This arrest is significant in the case after a prolonged probe over the years. Earlier, the bank had terminated Kochhar as CEO denying her the executive retirement benefits.

The CBI alleged that, in a quid-pro-quo deal, Dhoot had allegedly invested crores of rupees in Deepak Kochhar's company Nupower months after the Videocon Group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. This amounted to criminal conspiracy and cheating, the CBI said.

When did the enquiry actually begin and what led up to it?

In May 2018, ICICI Bank initiated an inquiry against Kochhar. The former CEO went on leave thereafter and later applied for early retirement, which was accepted. The bank then said it had treated her separation as 'termination for cause' and had also sought approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for Kochchar's termination of appointment as is mandatory under the provisions of the RBI Act.

What has the court said on the case so far?

On November 10, the Bombay High Court said the termination of Chanda Kochhar from the post of the CEO of ICICI Bank was prima facie a “valid termination” and dismissed her interim application seeking post-retirement benefits. 

What has the CBI said in its chargesheet?

In its chargesheet filed in January 2019, the CBI had said that ICICI Bank under Kochhar had sanctioned loans to Videocon in violation of the credit policies of the bank. These loans later turned non-performing assets (NPAs) resulting in wrongful loss to the lender and wrongful gain to the borrowers.

The CBI also sought probes into the role of some senior officials of the sanctioning committee which had cleared the loans to Videocon. The investigating agency highlighted that the credit limit for Videocon Group companies was approved after Kochhar took over as top executive of the bank in May 2009.

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