ICICI-Videocon scam: Kochhars, Dhoot sent to 14 days’ judicial custody

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) A Mumbai special court on Thursday sent former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot, to 14 days judicial custody.

The Kochhars, nabbed on December 23, and Dhoot, arrested on December 26, was produced before a special Central Bureau of Investigation judge S.H. Gwalani after their CBI remand ended on Thursday.

CBI Special Public Prosecutor S. Limosin said they did not require them for further custodial interrogation in the ICICI-Videocon fraud cases of around Rs 3,250 crore, and sought judicial custody for a fortnight, which was granted till January 10, 2023.

In its FIR of January 2019, the CBI has accused the Kochhars and Dhoot of allegedly conspiring to cheat the ICICI Bank, criminal conspiracy and corruption though their various acts between 2009-2012 that led to losses worth Rs 1,730 crore to the private bank when Chanda Kochhar was helming it.

Deepak Kochhar and his company, NuPower Renewables Ltd, along with Dhoot’s companies Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd, and Videocon International Electronics Ltd, have been named in the alleged scam.

Under Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank sanctioned the loans to Videocon Group companies flouting the RBI guidelines, the Banking Regulation Act, the bank’s own codes by misusing her position that led to the huge losses, and pecuniary benefits to the Kochhars.

The entire matter was first exposed by whistleblower Dr. Arvind Gupta in 2016, the Videocon Group accounts became non-performing assets in 2017 and Chanda Kochhar voluntarily retired and was later sacked by the ICICI Bank in 2018.

The arrests of the trio, coming after nearly four years since the FIR was registered, sent ripples in the country’s banking and corporate circles. – IANS

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