The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, arrested former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband, Deepak Kochhar in reference to the ICICI Bank Loan case. Deepak Kochhar was arrested by the Mumbai branch of the financial probe agency.
The mint reported comments of an ED official, who said, “Deepak Kochhar was arrested after being confronted with this new evidence that there is indeed a case for illegal gratification here. He will be produced in the special prevention of money laundering court tomorrow for  custody.”
The arrest has been done after one year since the case of money laundering was filed by ED on the basis of a complaint registered by the CBI against Videocon Director Venugopal Dhoot and his companies (Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Ltd). The complaint was also made against ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak. The FIR was filed by CBI on January 22, 2019. The FIR was on the basis of alleged cheating, criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and his companies — Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL).
In the FIR, the name of another company can be found. The company Supreme Energy was founded by Dhoot, and NuPower Renewables, a company controlled by Deepak Kochhar
After that, ED launched a money laundering case against Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of ₹1,875-crore loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group. The case was launched on January 31st of last year. Thereafter ED conducted raids last year in which they had seized a diary, hard disk and ₹10.5 lakh at the office of Pacific Capital Services Pvt Ltd.
The complaint was 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, as reported by the news agency mint. The CBI had said that ownership of Nupower and Supreme Energy changed hands through a complex web of shared transactions between Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot.
Earlier this year, movable and immovable assets of worth around ₹ 78.15 crores in possession of ICICI Bank’s former Managing Director and CEO, her husband and the companies owned/controlled by him were attached by ED.
Preliminary investigations revealed that loans of approximately ₹ 1,730 crores sanctioned to Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) and its group companies and these loans became non-performing assets (NPA) for ICICI Bank on June 30, 2017.
Further investigations found that an amount of Rs 64 crore, out of the loan of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics Ltd, was transferred to Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL, earlier known as NuPower Renewables Ltd, a company of Deepak Kochhar) by VIL on September 8, 2009.
Net revenue of ₹ 10.65 crores which generated by NRL from these tainted funds were also found during investigations. Chanda Kochhar and her family had also acquired an apartment in Mumbai owned by one of the Videocon group companies.
Assets amounting to ₹ 74.54 crores held in the name of Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd, its subsidiaries, the Mumbai flat, and ₹ 10.5 lakh already seized by ED from the company of Deepak Kochhar, totalling to Rs 78.15 crore being proceeds of crime have been provisionally attached by ED under PMLA. Data of the investigation was revealed by the news agency the Tribune.
During questioning, Kochhar’s have been standing firm on their statements that Videocon’s investment or fund infusion in NuPower was a pure business transaction. But, according to an ED official, the recent evidence pointed to the trail of funds connecting Videocon and NuPower.
The company that supposedly belongs to Kochhar, named Pacific Capital Service Pvt Ltd, moved to the Delhi High Court last month claiming to release the assets seized by the Enforcement Directorate in March last year in a money laundering case. They sought the release of assets on the ground that the seizure can continue only for a period of one year and even after the lapse of the period, no complaint (charge sheet) has been filed by the ED in the case.


A student from Kolkata. Currently content creator at The Indian Wire.

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