CBI books Chanda Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot in ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case

PTI
Thursday, 24 January 2019

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry on the allegations that Rs 3,250 crore worth of loans were sanctioned by the bank to companies associated with the Videocon group in violation of the laid-down norms.

NEW DELHI: The CBI has booked former ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kocchar and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot for alleged cheating and corruption in sanctioning loans to the company, which caused a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, officials said on Thursday.

Some top names in the banking industry - present CEO of ICICI bank Sandeep Bakshi, Sonjoy Chatterjee, Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal, K V Kamath and Homi Khusrokhan - have also come under the scanner as they were part of the ICICI bank committees clearing some of the six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore given to the Videocon group and associated companies, they said.

Following the registration of the FIR late Wednesday night, the agency officials swooped down at four locations in Mumbai and Aurangabad early morning Thursday -- offices of the Videocon group, Nupower Renewables -- the company run by Deepak Kochhar and Supreme Energy -- once promoted by Dhoot.

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry on the allegations that Rs 3,250 crore worth of loans were sanctioned by the bank to companies associated with the Videocon group in violation of the laid-down norms.

It was also alleged that Rs 64 crore were invested by Dhoot through one of the companies, Supreme Energy, founded by him, which was alleged as quid pro quo in the complaint that triggered the preliminary enquiry.

During the course of the preliminary enquiry registered in December, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found alleged irregularities in sanctioning six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore to Videocon Industries Limited, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and four other companies associated with the Videocon group between June, 2009 and October, 2011, the officials said.

Chanda Kochhar was on the sanctioning committee deciding two loans - Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics on August 26, 2009 and Rs 750 crore to Videocon Industries Limited on October 31, 2011, they said.

The loans were issued in the alleged violation of the laid-down policy and regulations of the bank, they said.

Most of these loans became non-performing assets over the course, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, they said.

The term loan of Rs 300 crore sanctioned to Videocon International Electronics Ltd was disbursed on September 7, 2009.

Next day, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to Nupower Renewables Ltd, through Supreme Energy founded by him.

The amount was transferred through a "circuitous route" using company Supreme Energy Limited founded by Dhoot, the CBI alleged.

"This was the first major capital received by NRL to acquire first power plant. Thus Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification through her husband from VIL/V N Dhoot for sanctioning a loan of Rs 300 crore to VIEL," it alleged.

In addition to the loans to VIL and VIEL, four loans were issued to Millenium Appliances, Sky Appliances, Techno Electronics and Applicomp India to repay the unsecured loan availed by these companies from VIL, the FIR alleged.

The FIR has alleged that these loans have turned NPA resulting in wrongful loss to the ICICI Bank and wrongful gain to the borrowers and the accused persons.

"The role of these senior officers of the sanctioning committee may also be investigated," it said. 

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