CBI Files FIR against Chanda & Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Chief Venugopal Dhoot; Raids Videocon HQ, NuPower Office
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case against Chanda Kochhar, the then managing director (MD) and chief executive (CEO) of ICICI Bank, her husband Deepak Kochhar, VN Dhoot, MD of Videocon group, Videocon International Electronics Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd and NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd and Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd. It is alleged that accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI Bank.
 
The CBI also carried out searches at headquarters of Videocon Group in Mumbai and Aurangabad. The CBI has registered the FIR in connection with the Rs3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group given in 2012. 
 
According to CNBC-TV18, the CBI may probe role of the senior officers on the sanctioning committee of ICICI Bank, including KV Kamath, Sandeep Bakshi, K Ramkumar, Sonjoy Chatterjee, NS Kannan, Sonjoy Chatterjee, NS Kannan and Homi Khusrokhan.
 
The action comes in the wake of a preliminary enquiry the agency registered on 31 March 2018 against Mr Kochhar, officials from Videocon group and others to determine whether any wrongdoing was involved in the sanctioning of the loan by the ICICI Bank as part of a consortium, a senior CBI official told reporters.
 
After registering the case, several teams from CBI carried out searches at four places in Mumbai. The search operation covered offices of NuPower Renewables and Supreme Energy, both controlled by Mr Kochhar as well as office of Videocon group in Mumbai and Aurangabad. 
 
CBI action last year came in the wake of the news reports raising questions about Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot allegedly providing crores of rupees to a firm promoted by Mr Kochhar and his two relatives six months after Videocon group got the Rs3,250 crore loan from ICICI Bank. It was alleged that Mr Dhoot transferred a considerable portion of the loan to a company he jointly owned with Mr Kochhar.
 
The media expose was based on a complaint filed by a whistleblower, who flagged Ms Kochhar's alleged impropriety and conflict of interest in a letter to the prime minister and the finance minister.
 
The Bank initially termed the charges against Ms Kochhar as "malicious and unfounded rumours" but after relentless public gaze, and regulatory pressure, the lender ordered a probe into the whole issue. 
 
The said amount was part of a loan of Rs40,000 crore, which Videocon received from a consortium of 20 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI). 
 
Later on 4 October 2018, Ms Kochhar quit ICICI Bank. In a regulatory filing at that time, the lender had said, "The board of directors of ICICI Bank accepted the request of Ms Kochhar to seek early retirement from the Bank at the earliest. The board accepted this request with immediate effect. The enquiry instituted by the board will remain unaffected by this and certain benefits will be subject to the outcome of the enquiry. Ms Kochhar will also relinquish office from the board of directors of the Bank's subsidiaries."
 
The decision of the 56-year-old brought to an end her nine-year reign as the top executive of the Bank. In 2009, Ms Kochhar was appointed as MD and CEO of the Bank and has been responsible for the Bank's diverse operations in India and overseas. The board of ICICI Bank has decided to appoint Sandeep Bakshi as managing director and chief executive for next five years.
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COMMENTS

Deepak Narain

3 weeks ago

Since Mr Sandeep Bakshi was on the loan Sanctioning Committee, he is deemed to be a party to the alleged wrong done by Ms Kochar. Therefore, it does not seem appropriate to appoint him as MD and CEO of ICICI Bank in place of Ms Kochar.

Dayananda Kamath

3 weeks ago

It is tiny tip of the iceberg. If similar exercise is done on other private banks skeletons will fall in hundreds. Another area to be investigated is the sanctions of big loans and take over of limits from their previous banks even by PSB chairman's appointed since 2004 as soon as their taking charge.
Even if RBI investigates the FEMA violations and their taking over forex business from PSB can force it to cancel their Authorised dealerships.

Dr.Dhananjaya Bhupathi

4 weeks ago

1. PRIVATE SECTOR BANK’S SCAMS: GOI under BJP LEAD NDA is pioneering to take remedial steps by digging into SCAMS IN PSB + PRIVATE SECRTOR BANKS.
2. How about ticking masters of RBI + STATUTORY AUDITS, who cleared these frauds ab initio? Former RBI Governor [Shri Urjit Patel], expressed RBI’s inability to prevent PSB scams, how about private sector banks? If RBI, simply, issues guidelines and the violators can’t be identified by RBI/Statutory Audits, who shall prevent such scams of high magnitude?
3. Any reaction from present incumbent in RBI?
4. When is PMO/UFM ensuring IBA’s registration under Indian laws with transparency + accountability & replacing its ex-officio members from tainted PSBs?
5. How about registration of PSB/Private Bank’ boards? Any registration under Indian laws with accountability + transparency?
6. Any political party worth its salt to include these issues in Election Manifesto?
7. When BJP lead NDA has been attempting to cleanse PSBs/Private Banks, its chances of re-election in 2019 polls shall increase by leaps & bounds.
8. Entire Indian youth pinned all hopes upon dynamic & charismatic Modiji to get re-elected as PM in fulfillment of his dreams for TEAMING MILLIONS OF INDIAN YOUTH & CONTINUE HIS TIRADE AGAINST CORRUPTION & seek return of Indian wealth , pilfered outside Indian borders.
9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7fOf8rUrdw
10. SATYAMAEVA JAYATHE!!!

Ramesh Poapt

4 weeks ago

ic....ic....i, no you don't see. its c is corruption, crime,creates contingency,coercion,
conspiracy behind magnetic media show.

VASANT KULKARNI

4 weeks ago

HUM BHI KUCH KAM NAHI!

Pankaj Malhotra

4 weeks ago

There are multiple points that are missing: 1) How did ICICI board give clean chit/ defended Chanda Kochhar despite the whistle blower & PE. Shouldn't they be dismissed too for not carrying out their duties? 2) Just like Kingfisher only 1 bank (IDBI in that case) has been sidelined. The total debt stands at ~40k crore & ICICI's exposure is only 3k crore out of it, what about other banks? 3) Why is there no probe against lead banker which is SBI in all cases, since fraud can't be perprated with just 1 bank of the consortium?

Ganesh Nyati

4 weeks ago

Good info

Meenal Mamdani

4 weeks ago

Has the ICICI Bank learnt nothing?
The same Sandeep Bakshi who was part of the group of directors that approved the loan to Videocon which is being investigated by CBI, has been appointed in place of Ms Kocchar.
At best he had no spine to stand firm against Ms Kocchar's decision to grant the loan; at worst he has poor judgement that he would ignore the red flags and OK this loan.
Is India so short of talent that a bank has no choice but to pick among its subpar directors?

Pass Essar verdict by Jan 31, NCLAT orders Ahmedabad Bench
Hearing an appeal by ArcelorMittal for early resolution of bankrupt Essar Steel, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday ordered its Ahmedabad Bench to pass the verdict in the case by January 31.
 
Failing which, the two-member bench of NCLAT headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay said it would call the matter and pass an order at its next hearing. 
 
The appellate tribunal has asked for the matter to be listed for next hearing on February 4.
 
ArcelorMittal's Rs42,000 crore resolution plan was approved by the Committee of Creditors (CoC) to Essar Steel last October and has been waiting for the Ahmedabad NCLT's approval. 
 
The next hearing on the matter by the Ahmedabad Bench is on January 31. 
 
However, the Ahmedabad Bench has also to decide on the maintainability of the Rs54,000 crore bid by Essar Steel's arm Essar Steel Asia Holdings after the CoC approved ArcelorMittal's bid. 
 
The Essar Group has sought withdrawal of the insolvency proceedings saying its bid will take care of all the creditors, including the operational creditors.
 
Earlier too, the NCLAT, on being approached by the CoC on January 3, had asked the NCLT bench to take an early decision in accordance with the law. 
 
During the last hearing of the case at NCLT Ahmedabad on January 7, a two-member bench had reserved its judgement on the maintainability of the Essar Steel arm's plea seeking withdrawal from the resolution process and offered to pay Rs54,389 crore for settlement to retain control of the company.
 
In its next hearing on January 31, the Ahmedabad Bench is likely to pass an order on the same as well as take-up applications of other operational creditors during the same hearing. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Now SBI chases Mehul Choksi for Rs405 crore loan default
In a new development, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday moved to recover loan outstandings of Rs405 crore from absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi, his family and companies.
 
This is the first time the country's biggest bank's exposure has been revealed in the case involving Choksi, who is among the prime accused in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
 
Significantly, the developments came two days after it became clear that Choksi had surrendered his Indian citizenship in favour of the nationality of Antigua & Barbuda Isle in the West Indies.
 
Choksi, his nephew Nirav Modi, several of their family members, employees and retired or serving top PNB executives and officials are accused in the PNB scam.
 
In a prominent media notice on Wednesday, the SBI has demanded repayment of the loan amount sanctioned against various assets in Mumbai, Raigad, Nashik and Hyderabad belonging to Choksi, his family and group companies.
 
These include residential and commercial premises with multiple parking spaces, plus several plots of land in Maharashtra and Telangana, standing in their names.
 
The SBI has already served notices to them at their "last known addresses" as on December 31, 2018, under section 13(2) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets & Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002. But the notices returned undelivered.
 
The loan amount - described as a 'Working Capital Facility' - was extended to Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Bandra Kurla Complex, Gemplus Division at Andheri East, premises in Bharat Diamond Bourse, a property in Santacruz and a plot in Maheshwaram Mandal in Rangareddy district of Telangana.
 
The SBI said that in order to avail the loan amount, the borrowers (above) had pledged shares and mortgaged various properties on 'pari passu basis'.
 
These include properties in Cumballa Hill, Bandra Kurla Complex, Andheri, 27 plots measuring a total 9.60 hectares in Panvel, Raigad, 42 big and small plots of land in Balwant Nagar, Nashik.
 
In Telangana, a total of 38.51 hectares of land in two plots situated in Rangareddy district are named.
 
Choksi is shown as a guarantor for the 12-odd defaulter loan accounts, Priti Choksi and the late Guniyal Choksi are two security providers, all residing in Gokul Apartments, Malabar Hill.
 
The other companies include: Decent Securities and Finance Ltd, Decent Investment and Finance Ltd, and Nashik Multi Services Ltd, all located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and the Hyderabad Gems SEZ Ltd, Telangana.
 
The SBI has warned them to repay their outstanding dues within 60 days failing which the bank would proceed against them vis-a-vis the securities provided to recover the full dues.
 
In February 2018, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said that the bank had no 'direct exposure' in the scam involving Nirav Modi, barring a Rs 1,360-crore due from PNB.
 
There was no mention of the Rs405-crore Choksi loan default in the matter till now.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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