New Delhi: Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate on Friday in connection with the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case. He has been called for questioning on Saturday also.
Apart from Dhoot, former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak were also questioned. The three deposed as part of a regular summon and their statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Last month, the ED had questioned and recorded the statements of the Kochhars over multiple sessions at its office in Delhi. The agency is preparing to analyse the details of their assets so that they can be provisionally attached under the anti-money laundering law.
Chanda Kochhar’s brother-in-law Rajiv has also been grilled by the ED.
Earlier this year, the ED registered a criminal case under the PMLA against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning Rs 1,875-crore of loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group. This action followed an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The CBI has named all the three and Dhoot’s companies, Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), in its case.
The CBI found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June 2009 and October 2011 in an alleged violation of ICICI Bank policies, which have now become part of the probe.
The loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, it alleged.
Sources said the ED was also probing at least two other instances of loans given by the ICICI Bank (during Chanda Kochhar’s tenure) to Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech and to Bhushan Steel group, both of which are under probe on similar charges.