Ex-ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, Husband Arrested In Loan Fraud Case
Chanda Kochhar, the former CEO of ICICI Bank, and her husband Deepak Kochhar were detained by the CBI on Friday in connection with suspected irregularities in a loan of more than 3,000 crore given to the Videocon Group while she was in charge of the private sector bank.
A claim that Chanda Kochhar, 59, had favoured Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas exploration company, led to her resignation as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in October 2018.
A year later, ICICI said that it would classify Ms. Kochhar’s departure as “termination for cause,” claiming that she had broken the bank’s code of conduct and internal standards.
For suspected irregularities in a loan of 3,250 crore made to the Videocon Group in 2012 that turned into a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank, she has been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI.
According to a whistleblower, the transactions benefited Ms. Kochhar, her family, and her husband Deepak Kochhar. The allegations in the complaint state that months after the Videocon group received a loan from the bank, former Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot reportedly invested millions of rupees in NuPower Renewables, a business started by Mr. Kochhar.
According to the CBI, a committee of which Ms. Kochhar was a member approved the loan. According to the agency, she abused her position and received “illegal gratification/undue benefit through her husband from Dhoot for sanctioning 300 crore to Videocon.”
This loan was a portion of one that Videocon received from a group of 20 banks, led by the State Bank of India, for a total of 40,000 crore.
Ms. Kochhar, who spent more than three decades working for India’s third-largest lender and rose up the ranks to become one of the most powerful woman bankers, has denied any wrongdoing.
“I reiterate that none of the credit decisions at the bank are unilateral … the organisation design and structure obviate the possibility of conflict of interest,” she had said in a statement.