ICICI Bank-Videocon loan: Deepak Kochhar faces CBI’s preliminary inquiry

ICICI Bank-Videocon loan: Deepak Kochhar faces CBI’s preliminary inquiry.

New Delhi, March 31: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a preliminary inquiry against Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank chief executive and managing director Chanda Kochhar over alleged impropriety in lending Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon group, media reports said on Saturday.

The CBI on the basis of preliminary inquiry will decide whether there is a ground to file a First Information Report (FIR). The CBI will also take a call on whether to summon Chanda Kochhar after documents were examined, media reports said.

Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot have been involved in a controversy over the private lender allegedly giving Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon, of which the unpaid Rs 2,810 crore was declared non-performing asset (NPA) in 2017.

Deepak Kochhar is the co-founder and chief executive of NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), which was set up in December 2008. NuPower Renewables was founded as a 50-50 joint venture between Videocon group’s Venugopal Dhoot family and Kochhar and the Advani families — Chanda Kochhar’s brother, Mahesh Advani. At that time Chanda Kochhar was the chief financial officer and joint managing director at ICICI Bank, said media reports.

In 2009, Dhoot resigned as NuPower Renewables director and transferred his 25,000 shares to Deepak Kochhar, and a year later his company Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd allegedly gave a loan of Rs 64 crore to Deepak Kochhar’s renewables firm.

After a series of share transfer between the two, Dhoot’s Supreme Energy took over a majority of the shares of NRPL which he transferred to his associate Mahesh Chandra Punglia.

Punglia in turn transferred his entire stake in Supreme Energy to Deepak Kochhar’s Pinnacle Energy for only Rs 9 lakh, just six months after the Videocon group got a loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank, added the reports.