Deepak Kochhar Faces Preliminary Probe In ICICI Bank-Videocon Loan Matter

The CBI will decide on the basis of the preliminary enquiry or PE whether there is a ground to file an FIR against Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar

The CBI may summon ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar after documents are examined, sources said

New Delhi: A preliminary enquiry has been filed against Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank chief executive and managing director Chanda Kochhar, by the CBI over alleged impropriety in lending Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon group, people familiar with the matter said today.

The Central Bureau of Investigation will decide on the basis of the preliminary enquiry or PE whether there is a ground to file a First Information Report. 

The CBI will also take a call on whether to summon Chanda Kochhar after documents are examined, sources said.

Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot have run into controversy over the private lender allegedly giving Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon, of which the unpaid Rs 2,810 crore was declared non-performing asset in 2017.

Deepak Kochhar is the co-founder and chief executive of NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), which was set up in December 2008. NuPower Renewables was founded as a 50-50 joint venture between Videocon group's Venugopal Dhoot family and Kochhar and the Advani families -- Chanda Kochhar's brother, Mahesh Advani. At that time Chanda Kochhar was the chief financial officer and joint managing director at ICICI Bank.

In 2009, Mr Dhoot resigned as NuPower Renewables director and transferred his 25,000 shares to Deepak Kochhar, and a year later his company Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd allegedly gave a loan of Rs 64 crore to Deepak Kochhar's renewables firm.

After a series of share transfer between the two, Mr Dhoot's Supreme Energy took over a majority of the shares of NRPL which he transferred to his associate Mahesh Chandra Punglia.

Mr Punglia in turn transferred his entire stake in Supreme Energy to Deepak Kochhar's Pinnacle Energy for only Rs 9 lakh, just six months after the Videocon group got a loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank.

This has raised a question of conflict of interest, on the part of Chanda Kochhar.

Soon after the reports came, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on ICICI Bank for not abiding by the rules on sale of bonds in held-to-maturity category.