Mumbai, Apr 5: Rajiv Kochhar, brother-in-law of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, was detained by immigration authorities at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai when he was to leave for a Southeast Asian country. He was handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, who questioned him in connection with the bank’s dealing with the Videocon Group.
Kochhar was stopped from leaving the country at the airport as the CBI had issued a Look-out Circular (LoC) against him, officials were quoted as saying in a PTI report. (ALSO READ – ICICI Bank Gives Clean Chit to Chanda Kochhar in Videocon Loan Case)
Earlier, CBI had issued a statement clarifying that Rajiv has not been arrested. “ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar’s brother in law Rajeev Kochhar has not been arrested yet, he was questioned in ICICI Videocon case,” it said.
The CBI had questioned a few ICICI Bank officials as part of a preliminary enquiry (PE) to find if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank issuing a Rs 3,250-crore loan to Videocon Group in 2012.
CBI officials said they are also studying relevant documents of the transaction and if they come across any evidence that indicates wrongdoing, Ms Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and some others could be summoned for detailed questioning.
They said the statements of nodal officers of ICICI Bank, who were part of processing the Rs 3,250 crore loan, have been recorded as part of the PE registered six weeks ago.
The PE has named Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Mr Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others, they said.
A PE is a precursor before the CBI lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.
The deal came into news recently after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Mr Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Mr Deepak Kochchar.
Last week, the ICICI Bank board came out in support of Ms Chanda Kochhar, saying it had full faith and confidence in her and described certain reports against her regarding credit disbursement to the Videocon Group as “malicious and unfounded rumours“.
The board had also reviewed the bank’s internal processes for credit approval and found them robust, the private sector lender said in a statement.
With regard to loans to the Videocon Group, it said the bank’s current exposure was part of a syndicated consortium arrangement.
“ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs 3,250 crore, which was less than 10% of the total consortium facility in April 2012,” it added.
The bank had clarified that none of the investors of NuPower Renewables were borrowers of ICICI Bank.
(Inputs from PTI)