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The Centre Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to confront arrested Videocon Group MD V.N. Dhoot with former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar.
Dhoot was arrested by the CBI from Mumbai on Monday whereas the Kochhars were already in its custody. The federal probe agency has now got the three days custody of the accused, and will confront them with each other to make a water-tight case.
The CBI has alleged that Dhoot didn’t dislose the full facts to them and hence, he needed to be confronted with Kochhars.
It also alleged that Dhoot was not cooperating in the probe, saying they sent him two notices to join the investigation but he didn’t appear before the investigating agency on December 23 and 25. The CBI also found inconsistency in his statements.
The present case was registered on January 22, 2019 against Videocon International Electronics Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd, Dhoot, the Kochhars, NuPower Renewables Ltd, Supreme Energy Private Ltd and unknown public servants under sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy, and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On August 26, 2009 a Sanctioning Committee headed by Chanda Kochhar sanctioned rupee term loan of Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) in contravention of rules and policies of the bank, in criminal conspiracy with the co-accused persons dishonestly by abusing her official position as public servant.
The loan was disbursed on September 7, 2009 and on very next date September 8, 2009, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to the NRL, managed by Deepak Kochhar, from Videocon Industries Ltd through his company Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL).
The NRL was incorporated on December 24, 2008, and Dhoot and Saurabh Dhoot resigned as its directors on January 15, 2009. Before resigning, Dhoot allotted 1,997,500 warrants (convertible into equity) to Deepak Kochhar.
On June 5, 2009, shares of NRL held by Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar were transferred to the SEPL, incorporated on July 3, 2008 with Dhoot and his associate Vasant Kakade as its directors.
Dhoot resigned from the directorship of SEPL on January 15, 2009 and transferred the control of the company to Deepak Kochhar by transferring his shares to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by the latter.
Between June 2009 and October 2011, ICICI Bank sanctioned a rupee term loan of Rs 1,875 crore to six companies of Videocon Group for the purpose of enabling them to repay the unsecured loan availed by these companies from Videocon Industries Ltd.
All these loans were sanctioned after Chanda Kochhar took over the charge of ICICI Bank as MD & CEO. Out of the six loans, Chanda Kochhar was one of the committee members in two loans i.e. RTL of Rs 300 crore to VIEL and RTL of Rs 750 crore to VIL.
The ICICI Bank had also released the security available in the form of FDR of Rs 50 crore in the accounts of Sky Appliance Ltd and Techno Electronic Ltd without any justification.
On April 26, 2012, the existing outstanding of the six RTL accounts were adjusted in RTL of Rs 1730 crore, sanctioned to VIL under refinance of domestic debt. The account of VIL was declared NPA on June 30, 2017.
Present outstanding in the acoount is Rs 1,033 crore.
“During investigation, it has been found that in furtherance of criminal conspiracy with other accused persons, Chanda Kochhar sanctioned various loans to Videocon Group despite having business dealings with V.N. Dhoot.
“That investigation revealed that on September 8, 2009, an amount of Rs 64 crore was transferred out of disbursed amount of Rs 283.45 crore, sanctioned to Videocon International Electronic Ltd by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar, to the company’s account of her husband.
“Thus Chanda Kochhar has committed criminal breach of trust punishable under Section 409 of IPC, by sanctioning RTL of Rs 300 crore and later on converted the funds of Rs 64 Crore for her own use,” the CBI has alleged.
The CBI said that being a public servant, she was entrusted with the bank funds for which she was liable to discharge such trust in accordance with the guidelines issued by the ICICI Bank.
The CBI has learnt that Chanda Kochhar was residing in a flat without consideration during the period she dealt with the loan proposal of Videocon Group and sanctioned as the flat was under litigation for possession between Videocon Industries Ltd and Deepak Kochhar.
Subsequently, the flat (valued at Rs 5.25 crore in 1996) was transferred to Quality Advisor, a family trust of Deepak Kochhar at meagre amount of Rs 11 lakh in 2016.
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