Videocon loan case: ED books Chanda, Deepak Kochhar for money laundering

Chanda Kochhar | Photo: Suryakant Niwate

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a criminal case of money laundering against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of Rs 1,875-crore loan by the bank to the corporate group, officials said Saturday.

They said the central probe agency filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, taking cognisance of a CBI complaint filed on the matter last month.

An ECIR is the ED's equivalent of a police FIR.

The officials said the agency would probe if alleged kickbacks generated in the loan deal were laundered to create tainted assets.

The ED is soon expected to summon the accused named in the ECIR. The list of accused in the ED case is the same as that of the CBI, they said.

The CBI had named Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, and Dhoot and his companies -- Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL). It also named Supreme Energy, a company founded by Dhoot, and Nupower Renewables, a company controlled by Deepak Kochhar, in the FIR.

The CBI has slapped sections of the Indian Penal Code related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act on all the accused.

It had also conducted raids in the case.

It is alleged that Dhoot had invested in Deepak Kochhar's company Nupower through his firm Supreme Energy a quid pro quo to loans cleared by ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the CEO of the bank on May 1, 2009.

The ownership of Nupower and Supreme Energy changed hands through a complex web of shared transactions between Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot, the CBI alleged.

During its preliminary enquiry, the CBI found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June, 2009 and October, 2011 in alleged violation of laid-down policies of ICICI Bank, which have now become part of the probe.

"Existing outstanding in the accounts of these private group companies were adjusted in Rupee Term Loan of Rs 1,730 crore sanctioned by ICICI Bank under refinance of domestic debt under consortium arrangement on April 26, 2012," a CBI spokesperson had said.

The loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, it alleged.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel