ED grills Chanda Kochhar
Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and husband Deepak Kochhar appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Saturday as the probe agency intensified its investigations into alleged irregularities in sanctioning of Rs 1,875 crore loan by ICICI Bank to the Videocon group during her tenure at the private sector bank.
The agency also questioned Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon group.
The development came a day after the ED conducted searches on the premises of Chanda Kochhar, and Venugopal Dhoot in Mumbai and Aurangabad, respectively.
The ED had in February, registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities in sanctioning of the loan by the bank to the corporate group.
While the agency had after the searches on Friday questioned both the Kochhars, they were called again to its regional office in Ballard Estate, around noon.
While the questioning of the former MD & CEO of ICICI Bank was over in 30 minutes, her husband was questioned for more than five hours.
PTI quoting officials said that the investigating officer of the case recorded their statements under the PMLA.
The CBI has named all the three and Dhoot’s companies — Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL).
The agency had also named Supreme Energy, a company founded by Dhoot, and NuPower Renewables, a company controlled by Deepak Kochhar, in the FIR.
During the tenure of Chanda Kochhar, six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were allegedly given to the Videocon group and its associate companies.
In its FIR, the CBI had also named some of the leading names of the banking industry, alleging that they were also members of the sanctioning committees whose role needs investigation.
Chanda Kochhar was one of the members of the sanctioning committee that sanctioned two loans — Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics on August 26, 2009 and Rs 750 crore to Videocon Industries on October 31, 2011, the FIR has alleged. It further alleged that the loans were issued in violation of policies and regulations of the bank.