Ex-ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, Husband Arrested In Loan Fraud Case

Chanda Kochhar, had quit as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in four years ago, and denied that she favoured had Videocon Group while clearing loans.

ICICI Bank had said Chanda Kochhar had violated its code of conduct and internal policies.

New Delhi:

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar were arrested by the CBI on Friday in a case linked to alleged irregularities in an over Rs 3,000-crore loan provided to the Videocon Group when she was heading the private sector bank.

Chanda Kochhar, 59, had quit as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in October 2018 over allegations that she favoured Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas exploration company.

Saying that she violated the bank's code of conduct and internal policies, ICICI said a year later that it would treat Ms Kochhar's exit as "termination for cause".

She has been accused of criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI for alleged irregularities in a loan of Rs 3,250 crore in 2012 to the Videocon Group, which became a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank.

A whistleblower alleged that Ms Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar and her family members benefited from the dealings.

According to the charges in the case, former Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Mr Kochhar, months after the Videocon group was granted a 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.

Ms Kochhar, who worked at India's third-biggest lender for over three decades, rising through the ranks to become one of the most influential women bankers, has denied any wrongdoing.

"I reiterate that none of the credit decisions at the bank are unilateral ... the organisation design and structure obviate the possibility of conflict of interest," she had said in a statement.