The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR alleging irregularities in ICICI Bank’s loan sanction of Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon group, reports The Hindu BusinessLine (BL).
The agency is also understood to have carried out searches in Videocon Group’s offices in Mumbai and Aurangabad. The search operations conducted on Thursday (24 January) included Nupower Renewables, operated by Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank's former CEO Chanda Kochhar, and Supreme Power.
It is claimed that one of the Videocon’s promoters, Venugopal Dhoot had invested crores of rupees in Nupower. This investment came only months after ICICI Bank approved the Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon Group in 2012.
This loan from ICICI Bank was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon group secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI). However, ICICI Bank declared the Videocon account as a non-performing asset in 2017 since almost 86 per cent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan (Rs 2,810 crore) remained unpaid by the firm.
In March 2018, CBI had opened a preliminary enquiry (PE) against the Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar along with others after it was alleged that norms were not followed by the Bank while issuing the loan to the firm. Also there was a conflict of interest as Chanda Kochhar was not only the CEO of ICICI (the lender) but also the wife of Deepak Kochhar (the borrower).
Chandar Kochhar resigned from the post of Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank on 4 October 2018.