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CBI to Quiz ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in Rs 3,200 Crore Videocon Loan Case

The CBI has questioned few ICICI bank officials as part of its preliminary inquiry to find if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank's loan issuing process towards the Venugopal Dhoot company.

Manoj Gupta | CNN-News18

Updated:April 1, 2018, 11:22 PM IST
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New Delhi: After questioning several ICICI bank officials in the Videocon loan case, CBI is about to question bank CEO Chanda Kochhar over the Rs 3,250 crore loan sanctioned to the Videocon Group in 2012, a large portion of which has now become NPA.

The CBI has questioned some ICICI bank officials as part of its preliminary inquiry to find if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank issuing the loan to the Venugopal Dhoot company.

According to sources, after studying the confiscated documents, CBI believes approval for the loan came from the top and many rules were flouted.

CBI, however, maintains that it’s not an interrogation, but that Kochhar will only be questioned to understand the loan procedure along with probing the benefits her husband allegedly drew out of the transaction.

It is alleged that after the loan was given to Videocon Group, it in turn pumped money into NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar.

Meanwhile, ICICI Chairman MK Sharma on Thursday revealed that the Chanda Kochhar was part of the committee that approved loans to the Videocon group.

CBI has said that the statements of nodal officers of the ICICI, who were part of processing the loan of about Rs 3,250 crore, have been recorded as part of the preliminary inquiry registered six weeks back.

The inquiry has named Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unknown others, they said.

The investigation is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.

The deal recently made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochhar.

Earlier this week, the ICICI Bank board came out in support of Chanda Kochhar, saying it has full faith and confidence in her and described certain reports against her regarding credit disbursement to Videocon group as "malicious and unfounded rumours".

The board had also reviewed the banks internal processes for credit approval and found them robust, the private sector lender had said in a statement.

With regard to loans to the Videocon group, it said the banks current exposure is part of a syndicated consortium arrangement.

"ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs 3,250 crore which was less than 10 per cent of the total consortium facility in April 2012," it added.

The bank had clarified that none of the investors of NuPower Renewables are borrowers of ICICI Bank.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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