The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday raided Videocon offices in Mumbai and Aurangabad in connection with a loan case related to Deepak Kochhar.
CBI has also registered an FIR in connection with the alleged irregularities in transactions between ICICI Bank, the Videocon Group and NuPower Renewables, a company promoted by former ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak in 2010.
In October 2018, Chanda Kochhar stepped down as the CEO and managing director of the ICICI Bank due to the allegations that her husband and her family members benefited from a loan of Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group in 2012.
After initially providing full support to her, the ICICI Bank board eventually announced that its board had decided to set up a “comprehensive enquiry” to investigate the charges against Kochhar.
However, after more allegations surfaced, a multi-agency investigation was launched.
CBI on Thursday morning conducting raids in the wake of a preliminary enquiry the agency registered on March 31, 2018 against Deepak Kochhar, Videocon group officials and others.
The raids are in connection to probe whether or not any wrongdoing was involved in the sanctioning of the loan by the ICICI Bank as part of a consortium during Chanda Kochhar’s tenure.
As mentioned earlier, the CBI conducted raids in Mumbai and Aurangabad offices of Videocon group. While the searches were also conducted at NuPower offices in BKC and Nariman Point.
The CBI has also registered an FIR against Deepak Kochhar and Videocon’s Venugopal Dhoot.
However, the ICICI bank in a BSE filing refuted all the allegations and had expressed its full confidence in Kocchar.
Explaining its current exposure to the Videocon group, ICICI Bank said it had sanctioned a Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon as part of a consortium of lenders. ICICI Bank said the group of banks was not led by it.
According to the lender, in 2012, a consortium of over 20 banks and financial institutions sanctioned facilities to the Videocon group (Videocon Industries Ltd and 12 of its subsidiaries/ associates as co-obligors) for a debt consolidation programme and for the Videocon’s and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating approximately Rs 40,000 crore. The private lender’s current exposure to the Videocon group was a part of this syndicated consortium arrangement.
ICICI also emphasised that no individual employee, whatever be his or her position, has the ability to influence the credit decision.
Defending, Chanda Kocchar it said, “the Credit Committee, which sanctioned facilities aggregating about Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group in 2012, was chaired by the then chairman of ICICI Bank and it included independent and working directors of the bank.
ICICI also clarified that none of the investors of NuPower Renewables, promoted by Chanda Kochhar’s spouse Deepak Kochhar, are borrowers of ICICI Bank.
In October 2018, Chanda Kochhar quit with the immediate effect. ICICI’s board of directors held a meeting where they accepted her resignation.
The board decided to appoint Sandeep Bakshi in her place. Bakshi’s appointment would be of five years, i.e. until October 3, 2023.
In a press release, the bank also informed that citing health reasons MD MAllya, the independent director of the bank has also resigned.