On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested the former managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar and her husband, Deepak Kochhar, in connection with the irregularities in an over Rs 3,000-crore loan provided to the Videocon Group.
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.
What is the case?
The case is related to the alleged quid pro quo by Chanda Kochhar, then CEO and MD of ICICI Bank, for a Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012.
It is alleged that in exchange for the loan, Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested in Nupower, owned by Deepak Kochhar.
Dhoot invested Rs 64 crore in Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust, managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.
According to the FIR, the transfer was made just a day after ICICI Bank disbursed the Rs 300-crore loan.
“This was the first major capital received by NRL (Nupower Renewables) to acquire the first power plant. Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification, undue benefit through her husband from VIL/VN Dhoot for sanctioning Rs 300 crore loan to VIEL,” the FIR alleged.
Videocon got six loans from ICICI Bank
According to the CBI, the Videocon group continued to get more loans from ICICI Bank under Chanda Kochhar.
A total of six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were cleared for the Videocon Group and its associated companies during 2009-11, and in two cases, Chanda Kochhar was on the sanctioning committees.
Chanda Kochhar was on the sanctioning committee deciding two loans — Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Limited (VIEL) on August 26, 2009, and Rs 750 crore to Videocon Industries Limited on October 31, 2011 — the FIR has alleged.
Loans become NPAs
The loans were issued in alleged violation of the laid-down policies and regulations of the bank.
Most of these loans became non-performing assets, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.
The allegations, revealed by a whistleblower, also ended the over three-decade career of Chanda Kochhar at ICICI Bank in 2018.
Chanda Kochhar, from role model to disgrace
Chanda Kochhar, who joined ICICI as a trainee in 1984, rose through the ranks and became its CEO and MD.
She was the first woman to head a major bank in India and was long considered by many aspiring women as a role model.
She was ranked as the most powerful businesswoman in India in Forbes’ list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2013’ and was selected in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 2015.
Chanda Kochhar also got Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, in 2011.
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