Former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar said she is "utterly disappointed, hurt and shocked" after the bank concluded that she had violated the code of conduct and internal policies that resulted in conflict of interest, and officially sacked her today.
Ms Kochhar had quit her post last October after allegations that her family has benefited from a Rs. 3,250-crore loan granted by the bank to the Videocon Group in 2012. The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a case against her, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon chief Venugopal Dhoot.
"I reiterate that none of the credit decisions at the bank are unilateral," Ms Kochhar said in a statement this evening. The ICICI, she said, is an "institution with established robust processes and systems which involve committee based collective decision making". The structure, she said, "obviate the possibility of conflict of interest".
Earlier today, quoting an inquiry report on allegations of loan irregularities against Ms Kochhar, the ICICI Bank said it would treat her exit as "termination for cause".
This means a cancellation of her increments, bonuses, medical benefits and stock options and she has to return bonuses paid from April 2009 to March 2018, the ICICI bank said in its statement.
According to ICICI, the inquiry report concluded that Ms Kochhar had violated the bank's "code of conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations".
The report also noted her "lack of diligence" with respect to the bank's internal policies and code of conduct in avoiding conflict of interest. "The bank's processes were rendered ineffective by her approach," said the inquiry report.
The CBI said the Kochhars and Venugopal Dhoot had obtained a loan for the Videocon Group through massive irregularities and channelled part of it into a firm founded by Deepak Kochhar, suggesting a quid pro quo.
Ms Kochhar was part of the team that decided to grant the Rs. 3,250 crore loan, which was part of a Rs. 40,000 crore loan that Videocon got from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India.
Months later, Mr Dhoot had invested crores in Mr Kochhar's NuPower Renewables, the CBI said.
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