ED files first chargesheet in Rs 1,875-crore ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed its first charge sheet on Wednesday in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, involving Deepak Kochhar, businessman and husband of ICICI Bank’s former CEO Chanda Kochhar, and Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot.

The ED has filed the charge sheet against 10 entities and three individuals. Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL), Videocon Industries Ltd, Nu Power Renewables Ltd, Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, Venugopal Dhoot, and Deepak and Chanda Kochhar are among them.

Deepak Kochhar, who is in the judicial custody of ED now, may move court for bail after this charge sheet.

What is the case?

The ED’s probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case pertains to irregularities in the sanctioning of six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore by ICICI Bank to five firms of the Videocon Group between June 2009 and October 2011.

The bank had, on August 26, 2009, sanctioned a Rupee Term Loan of Rs 300 crore to VIEL in alleged contravention of the policy of the sanctioning committee, sources said.

On September 7, 2009, the loan was disbursed to VIEL, which it transferred to a group firm, Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), for financing the latter’s capital expenditure requirements.

The next day, on September 8, in contravention of the terms of the loan sanctioned, VIL allegedly transferred Rs 64 crore through Supreme Energy, out of the loan proceeds, to Nupower Renewables, whose then managing director and CEO was Deepak Kochhar.

It was alleged that the transfer was part of a ‘quid pro quo’ transaction between Chanda Kochhar and the Videocon Group via her husband’s firm. Deepak and Chanda were questioned by the ED in the past and they had, along with the other case accused, denied all allegations. VIEL, SEPL, VIL, NRL, Deepak, Chanda and Videocon Group’s Managing Director VN Dhoot were cited as accused in the case by ED.

ED arrests Deepak Kochhar

On September 8, the agency arrested Deepak Kochhar. ED had registered its case under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of a case registered by the CBI in January 2019 for cheating, conspiracy and misconduct by public servants under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had registered its case on the basis of the findings of the agency’s year-long probe as part of its preliminary enquiry, a precursor to the registration of a regular case, which commenced in December 2017.

Subsequently, the ownership transferred to Quality Techno Advisors Pvt Ltd, and then its whole shareholding was acquired by Quality Advisors, a family trust of Deepak Kochhar, for just Rs 11 lakh.

Deepak Kochhar and Chanda Kochhar are facing probes from multiple agencies like SEBI, CBI and Serious Fraud Investigation Office. The CBI is yet to file a charge sheet in this case. The SFIO also has not filed its first complaint in the court yet.