New Delhi: Former CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar on Wednesday expressed disappointment and shock after an independent enquiry found her in violation of bank’s code of conduct. “I am utterly disappointed and shocked. I haven’t been given a copy of the report. I have served ICICI for last 34 years with dedication and hard work. I have never shied away from taking tough decisions whenever required in the best interest of the organisation,” she said.
Adding further, the former CEO said, “This decision from the Bank has caused me immense hurt and pain. I have pursued my career as an independent professional with utmost honesty, dignity and integrity. I continue to have faith and belief in my conduct as a professional and I am certain that truth will ultimately prevail.”
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the bank’s Board of Directors has decided to treat separation of Chanda Kochhar as ‘Termination for Cause’ under Bank’s internal policies.
On Wednesday, the enquiry report submitted by Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna concluded that there was a lack of diligence with respect to annual disclosures and violation of the code of conduct, on her part.
Chanda Kochhar had quit the ICICI Bank on October 4 last year in the wake of allegations that she had favoured Videocon in the lending processes because the consumer electronics company’s founders had invested in a company founded by her husband Deepak Kochhar. The CBI filed cases against the three along with some others after conducting raids at four premises in Maharashtra, the investigating agency said.
The preliminary enquiry allegedly showed that from June 2009 to October 2011, ICICI Bank had sanctioned six high-value loans to various Videocon Group companies, CBI sources said. Chanda Kochhar had taken over the post of the Managing Director of the ICICI Bank on May 1, 2009. The companies M/s Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL) and M/s Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) have also been named in the case registered by the CBI. It is alleged that SEPL was initially incorporated by Dhoot and his associate Vasant Kakade and the ownership of the company was later transferred to Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar by selling the shares of the company to Pinnacle Energy Trust (PET), owned by Kochhar.
It was further alleged that Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested a large amount of funds in Deepak-owned Nupower months after Videocon Group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. The preliminary enquiry conducted by the premier investigators alleged that offences were committed under Section 120-B read with Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 7 and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) on the part of various companies of Videocon Group owned and promoted by Venugopal Dhoot, MD Videocon.
(With agency inputs)