CBI Questions Rajiv Kochhar For Third Day In Videocon Loan Case

Rajiv Kochhar, who owns a Singapore-based consultancy firm Avista Advisory, was questioned in connection with a preliminary enquiry.

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Rajiv Kochhar is the founder of Singapore-based Avista Advisory


New Delhi:  Rajiv Kochhar, the brother-in-law of ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar, who was stopped by immigration authorities at Mumbai airport earlier this week when he was to leave for Singapore, was questioned by the CBI for the third straight day on Saturday.

Mr Kochhar, who owns a Singapore-based consultancy firm Avista Advisory and is engaged in restructuring loans of companies, was questioned in connection with a preliminary enquiry by the agency to find if any quid pro quo was involved in ICICI bank issuing a Rs. 3,250-crore loan to Videocon Group in 2012.

On Saturday, Mr Kochhar was confronted with documents, said CBI sources.

Responding to the CBI's questions, Mr Kochhar denied having any plans of going anywhere and asserted that travelled to Singapore regularly for work. Avista Advisory's website lists the Phillip Street as the address of its head office.  

Mr Kochhar has denied having any links with ICICI Bank but his company does list Videocon as one its clients. His company's website says the firm has been engaged in reorganizing and refinancing foreign currency convertible bonds twice for the Videocon group, once in December 2015 (US $194 million) and once in August 2016 (US $97 million).

The CBI is probing alleged improprieties in connection with loans given to the Videocon group which has become a non-performing asset for ICICI Bank.

Coming out strongly in support of its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar, after reports of conflicts of interest and impropriety in allocation of the loan, ICICI Bank has called these allegations as "unfounded" and "malicious". Videocon Group still owes the bank Rs 2,810 crore.

The CBI has also questioned Mahesh Chandra Punglia, who had resigned as a director in a company called NuPower Renewables citing personal reasons. NuPower is headed by Deepak Kochhar, Chanda Kochhar's husband.

As per a media report, Venugopal Dhoot who heads the Videocon group set up a company with Deepak Kochhar in 2008. Mr Dhoot later gave Rs 64 crore loan to this company through an entity owned by him. Later, he transferred the ownership of this entity to a trust headed by Deepak Kochhar for just Rs 9 lakh, six months after the Videocon Group got the Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank.


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