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Videocon loan case: Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, husband arrested by CBI

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested former CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in connection with the Videocon loan case.
Chanda Kochhar quit as the CEO of ICICI Bank in 2018.
In its initial investigation, the CBI had found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June, 2009 and October, 2011 in alleged violation of laid-down policies of ICICI Bank.
It is alleged that Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in Nupower months after the Videocon Group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012.
The loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, it had alleged.
In January 2019, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had slapped money laundering charges against the Kochhars and their business entities for “illegal sanctioning of loans amounting to Rs 1,875 crore to the Videocon Group of companies”. The probe agency has interrogated the Kochhars several times in the past.
It was alleged that the accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with others to cheat ICICI Bank, the CBI had said in a statement after filing of the FIR in 2019.
In September 2020, Deepak Kochhar was arrested by the ED under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was released in March 2021 on a personal bond of Rs 3 lakh. The court had directed Kochhar to surrender his passport and visit the ED once a month.
CBI’s allegation
The central probe agency had in its report in 2019 stated that Videocon was given credit facilities (loans) after Chanda Kochhar took over the charge of ICICI Bank as MD-CEO on May 1, 2009. She herself was one of the members in one of the sanctioning committees which sanctioned a loan of Rs 300 crores to Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Rs 750 crore to Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL).
CBI had added that Chanda Kochhar got “illegal gratification” through her husband from Dhoot for sanctioning the loan. In all, ICICI Bank sanctioned six high value loans to various Videocon companies between June 2009 and October 2011.
It was also alleged that Dhoot provided crores of rupees to a firm promoted by Deepak Kochhar and two relatives, six months after Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. The amount was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon group secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by SBI.
Dhoot allegedly gave Rs 64 crore in 2010 through a fully owned entity to NRPL that he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two of his relatives.
It is alleged that he transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh, six months after he received the loan from ICICI Bank.
(With inputs from agencies)

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