CBI books Chanda Kochhar, husband & Videocon boss

Former ICICI Bank CEO & MD Chanda Kochhar

In a swift development, though on expected lines, the CBI booked former ICICI Bank CEO & MD Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group MD Venugopal Dhoot for alleged irregularities, cheating, illegal gratification and criminal conspiracy in sanctioning of loans from the bank to the leading business house.

The ICICI Bank-Videocon Group loan case involves quid pro quo, conflict of interest and non-disclosure, which had led to a storm in India's banking and corporate sector last year.

According to the investigation, the Kochhar duo, Dhoot, Videocon International Electronics Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd, Nupower Renewables Ltd, Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd and unnamed private and public persons have cheated the ICICI Bank to the tune of Rs 1,730 crore.

In March 2018, the CBI's Bank Securities & Fraud Cell had registered a preliminary enquiry which has now been converted into a first information report (FIR).

CBI sleuths conducted simultaneous raids in Mumbai and Aurangabad on Thursday, officials said.

A case was registered under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The issue had led to the unceremonious exit of the high-profile woman banker in October last year after the private banking giant came under scanner.

According to the charges, Dhoot had secured loans to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank between 2009 and 2012 and invested nearly Rs 64 crore in Nupower Renewables Ltd owned by Deepak Kochhar. The loans were sanctioned when his wife Chanda Kochhar was heading the bank.

The CBI, among other things, examined whether the allegations that Dhoot gave money to a firm promoted by Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after the Videocon Group got the loan is correct or not. Subsequently, the FIR was taken after prima facie evidence.

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