In Videocon Loan Case, Big Names Including ICICI Bank CEO May Be Probed

Along with Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot were named by the CBI in the ICICI-Videocon loan case yesterday.

In Videocon Loan Case, Big Names Including ICICI Bank CEO May Be Probed

The FIR says role of senior officials of the sanctioning committee may be investigated


After former ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar was accused of criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI in a case linked to alleged irregularities in an over Rs 3,000-crore loan, it has emerged that several other top officials of the bank - including current Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank Sandeep Bakshi and founder KV Kamath, who is currently chief of the New Development Bank of BRICS - have been named in the First Information Report or FIR. 

The probe agency says these big names were part of various committees that sanctioned loans amounting to Rs 1,575 crore that have turned Non-Performing Assets or NPAs "resulting in wrongful loss to ICICI Bank and wrongful gain to the borrowers and accused persons." 

The FIR says the role of these senior officials of the sanctioning committee may also be investigated.

"These loans were sanctioned in violation of Credit Policy of the bank during the relevant period. These loans amounting to Rs 1575 crores were sanctioned on various dates by various committees having senior officials of ICICI Bank as members namely Sh. Sandeep Bakhshi, Sh. K Ramkumar, Sh. Sonjoy Chatterjee, Sh. N S Kannan, Ms. Zarin Daruwala, Sh. Rajib Sabharwal, Sh. KV Kamath and Sh. Homi Khusrokhan," the FIR reads.

K Ramkumar was the executive director at ICICI and took voluntary retirement in 2016; he is currently Founder and CEO of Leadership Centre. Sonjoy Chatterjee is CEO of Goldman Sachs India; NS Kannan is the Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Prudential; Zarin Daruwala is CEO of Standard Chartered Bank in India; Rajiv Sabharwal had left ICICI in 2017 and is currently CEO of Tata Capital; and Homi Khusrokhan, former Managing Director of Tata Chemicals is currently a board member of ICICI Bank.

The CBI has not detailed why it has included the names of these titans of industry except that initial investigation shows the credit policy of the bank was violated and these names were part of the committees that sanctioned the loan. The CBI is still investigating what norms were violated. Given that it is still an ongoing investigation, there is a possibility that the agency may drop these names later if it is unable to find any evidence.

NDTV has reached out these top officials for a comment, but has not received any response yet.

Along with Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot were named by the CBI in the case yesterday. The agency accused the trio of entering into a conspiracy to cheat ICICI Bank.

Ms Kochhar quit as the CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank in October last year over the case involving a loan to the Videocon Group -- a legacy firm that has become a non-performing asset for the financial institution -- in 2012. The case came into the open last year, when a whistleblower, Arvind Gupta, claimed that Ms Kochhar's husband and her family members benefited from the deal. Mr Dhoot had allegedly invested crores of rupees in NuPower Renewables, a company funded by Deepak Kochhar, months after the loan was granted to Videocon. The CBI says that the loan was cleared by a committee, of which Ms Kochhar was a member.

The money was part of a Rs. 40,000-crore loan received by Videocon from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India.

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