Videocon Group loan case: CBI arrests Chanda Kochhar and her husband

Updated - December 24, 2022 01:21 pm IST

Published - December 23, 2022 10:58 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar. File

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested former ICICI Bank’s chief executive officer and managing director, Chanda Kochhar, and her husband, Deepak Kochhar, in a case related to the credit facilities extended to the Videocon Group of companies.

“They has been arrested in Delhi and will be produced before a Special Court in Mumbai,” said a CBI official.

The CBI had registered the case in January 2019, alleging quid pro quo in sanctioning loans of ₹1,875 crore to the companies of Videocon Group, headed by Venugopal Dhoot.

Based on the CBI case, the Enforcement Directorate initiated a money laundering probe and had arrested Mr. Kochhar in September 2020. The same year, in January, it attached assets worth ₹78.15 crore, which included a Mumbai flat in the name of Ms. Kochhar, and other properties linked to her husband’s company Nupower Renewables Private Limited, previously known as NuPower Renewables Limited (NRL), and its subsidiaries. Mr. Kochhar was later released on bail.

The ED had alleged that Ms. Kochhar and her family bought the flat at a nominal price by taking over a Videocon Group entity through a family trust.

It was alleged that Mr. Dhoot invested ₹64 crore in the NRL via Supreme Energy Private Limited, which was later transferred to Mr. Kochhar-controlled Pinnacle Energy Trust.

According to the agencies, the NRL was incorporated in December 2008 and Mr. Dhoot, Saurabh Dhoot and Mr. Kochhar were its directors. Subsequently, the Dhoots quit in January 2009, after over 19.9 lakh warrants worth ₹10 per unit were allotted to Mr. Kochhar on an initial payment of ₹1 per unit.

In June 2009, the NRL shares held by Mr. Dhoot and the Deepak Kochhar group were transferred to the SEPL, which became 95% shareholder of the NRL.

A day after the disbursement of ₹300-crore loan to Videocon International Electronics Limited, ₹64 crore was allegedly transferred by Videocon Industries Limited on September 8, 2009.

It was alleged that during Ms. Kochhar’s tenure, from June 2009 to October 2011, the ICICI Bank had sanctioned six high-value loans to the Videocon Group entities. The outstanding balance against the loans as on April 26, 2012, was adjusted as another term loan of ₹1,730 crore. In June 2017, the loan accounts were declared non-performing assets.

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