Videocon loan case: Income tax department issues notice to Deepak Kochhar

Deepak Kochhar. Illustration: Ajay Mohanty
The income tax (I-T) department on Tuesday issued a notice to Deepak Kochhar’s troubled firm NuPower Renewables over alleged tax evasion in connection with the Videocon loan case. 

The notice was issued under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act, which allows authorities to conduct inquiries and summon assessees. 

“The department has issued a notice to NuPower Renewables, controlled by ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband,” said an official. 

Deepak Kochhar, founder & CEO of NuPower Renewables, has been asked to furnish details of I-T returns and his personal finances over the last few years. “Details related to business transactions of NuPower Renewables have also been sought,” added the official. 

Notices have also been sent to those associated with the company. The department has sent a detailed questionnaire, seeking details of the firm's operations, to be answered by Deepak Kochhar.

The development comes after the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry in a case involving alleged payment made by the Videocon group to NuPower in lieu of a loan sanctioned by ICICI Bank. The bank has denied the allegations.  CBI officials said Deepak Kochhar, who has been named in the PE, would be called for questioning soon.

NuPower is an independent power producer in the renewable energy sector with nearly 700 Mw of renewable energy assets, operating and in pipeline, located across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The company sells power to various state grids vide 13- to 20-year power purchase agreements and also sells directly to corporate customers on long-term agreements. 

The CBI has also questioned a few ICICI bank officials as part of the inquiry to look into the allegations of quid pro quo in the bank issuing a Rs 32.50 billion loan to the Videocon group in 2012.

Chanda Kochhar pulls out of Ficci event

Facing allegations of wrongdoing in the loan extended to the Videocon group, ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar has pulled out of the annual session of FICCI Ladies Organisation, to be held later this week, where she was to be felicitated by President Ram Nath Kovind. Kochhar was the Guest of Honour at the April 5 event and flyers sent out last month mentioned her name. However, the revised ones did not carry her name.

(With inputs from PTI)

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