Videocon loan case: I-T quizzes Deepak Kochhar for 3 days in a row

File photo of Deepak Kochhar
The income tax (I-T) department has quizzed Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar, in connection with multiple transactions, involving his company NuPower Renewables, Videocon Industries and other related parties in India and abroad. 

The questioning follows two summons, issued by the tax department, where he was directed to be present with certain documents related to his tax profile and overseas business. 

Tax sleuths have questioned Deepak Kochhar for three days between Saturday and Tuesday. He could be called a few more times for further interrogation, an official in the know said. 

He was questioned for the first time by the investigators since the Rs 32.5 billion Videocon-ICICI Bank loan matter had surfaced. 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too had registered a preliminary enquiry against him for the alleged nexus between Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot.

According to tax officials, the department is examining the transactions that took place between these companies and identifying the actual beneficiaries in the matter. Between 2008 and 2014, there were frequent changes in the shareholding pattern of NuPower, across entities, such as Supreme Energy, Pacific Capital Services and Pinnacle Energy, resulting in the exit of Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar gaining control in NuPower through his companies/trusts. 

Besides, the I-T department is also probing the possible round-tripping at NuPower.  The tax department has raised the red flag over a Rs 3.25 billion investment by Singapore-based Accion Diversified Strategies Fund through its Mauritius subsidiary, DH Renewables. 

Between 2014 and 2016, DH Renewables bought compulsorily convertible cumulative preferential shares (CCPS) worth Rs 3.25 billion, which the tax department is probing.  

The department has written to its foreign counterparts in Mauritius and Singapore and sought exhaustive details including transcripts of all communication between Accion/ DH Renewables and NuPower, agreements between the two, before or after such transfer of funds, share valuation report for investment in NuPower and Accion's board resolution approving investment to be made in the wind energy firm.

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