Former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar have been accused of criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI, along with her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot, in a case linked to alleged irregularities in an over Rs 3,000-crore loan. The investigating agency also searched the Videocon headquarters in Mumbai and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Chanda Kochhar quit as CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank in October over the case involving a loan of Rs. 3,250 crore in 2012 to the Videocon Group, a legacy firm which has become a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank. The case exploded last year when a whistleblower alleged that Ms Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar and her family members benefited from the dealings.
Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Ms Kochhar's husband, months after the Videocon group was granted loan by the bank. The loan was cleared by a committee of which Ms Kochhar was a member, alleges the CBI. The agency says she abused her official position and "got illegal gratification/undue benefit through her husband from Dhoot for sanctioning Rs 300 crore to Videocon."
It was part of a Rs 40,000 crore loan which Videocon got from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India.
Caught in a firestorm over alleged "conflict of interest" in the loans sanctioned by ICICI, Chanda Kochhar, 56, quit her post seeking premature retirement on October 4.
After initially backing Ms Kochhar, ICICI Bank had announced that its board had decided to set up a "comprehensive enquiry" to investigate the charges. As more allegations surfaced, a multi-agency probe was launched.
Ms Kochchar joined the ICICI bank in 1984 as a management trainee. She rose to the top and was appointed Managing Director and CEO in 2009. She was widely acknowledged for her role in shaping retail banking in India.
Four companies have been named in the CBI's First Information Report -- NuPower Renewables, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics and Videocon Industries.
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