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Kochhar case came to life after Dhoot quizzing | India News

NEW DELHI: The arrests of Chanda and Deepak Kochhar by CBI came as a surprise as the case seemed to have gone cold of late. The investigation appeared to have gained a fresh momentum since November this year when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Dhoot.
On November 15, the Bombay high court had also refused interim relief to Chanda Kochhar in her suit against her former employer, seeking entitlements and retirement benefits.
The latest development marks a stunning reversal of Chanda’s dream career spanning three decades at ICICI. Joining as a trainee, she rose to head the bank breaching the glass ceiling and overcoming the jealousy that her trainee-to-corner office journey attracted from peers and others. Once celebrated as the great thing to have happened to Indian banking, she was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the third highest civilian decoration, in 2011.
The case against the Kochhars was registered by CBI in 2019. While she initially stayed defiant, torrent of adverse publicity in the wake of the CBI probe finally forced the hands of ICICI Board, which had been in the awe of her and dithered over asking her to step aside to facilitate an honest probe.
Her husband sought to brazen out the embarrassment and the looming threat of criminal prosecution, with Dhoot chipping in with help in the form of public statements that his decision to invest in NuPower was influenced by commercial considerations and was taken independently of the loan that Chanda-led ICICI had granted to Videocon.
The agency had registered a case against Chanda, her husband and Venugopal Dhoot, along with their companies viz NuPower Renewables, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Limited.
CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot in March 2018 to probe alleged irregularities in the Rs 40,000 crore loan made by a consortium of lenders to the Videocon Group. It had also pointed to an alleged “conflict of interest” in the Rs 3,250 crore loan granted to the Videocon Group by ICICI Bank.

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