New Delhi: In its probe against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly found that she received “illegal gratification” through her husband Deepak Kochhar for giving loans to the Videocon group. (Also read: ICICI Says Top Firm Withdrew Clean Chit Given to Kochhar)
The agency said that being the head of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar approved six loans to Venugopal N Dhoot’s Videocon group between June 2009 and October 2011. One such loan worth Rs 300 crore was given to Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) in which Kochhars allegedly got the bribe instantly.
In the sanctioning committee which approved this loan, Kochhar was present as one of the members and she conspired to cheat her own bank. She sanctioned the loan on August 26, 2009, three months after she took over as MD-CEO of ICICI Bank. The amount was disbursed into the account of VIEL on September 7 the same year.
CBI says that the next day, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to NuPower Renewables Limited (NRL) managed by Kochhar’s husband Deepak. The agency says it was the first major capital that NRL got.
“Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification/undue benefit through her husband from VIL/Dhoot for sanctioning Rs 300 crore to VIEL,” the daily quoted the agency as saying.
NRL was incorporated by Deepak, Venugopal Dhoot and Saurabh Dhoot on December 24, 2008, as its first directors. Dhoots resigned from the company in 2009 but before stepping down, Venugopal allotted his 19,97,500 warrants to Deepak at the rate of Rs 10 per warrant. NRL’s controlling company – Supreme Energy Pvt Limited (SEPL) also has a Venugopal connection.
“On January 15, 2009, Dhoot resigned from the director position of SEPL and transferred its control to Deepak Kochhar by selling/transferring his shares to Pinnacle Energy Trust (PET) which is managed by latter,” says the CBI. “This shows that Dhoot knew he was going to get the loan from the bank and this was a favour in advance,” a CBI official.
During its inquiry, CBI had examined Kochhar’s brother-in-law Rajiv, Deepak, and employees of Videocon, NRL and ICICI Bank.