Videocon Loan Fraud Case: This is how former MD and CEO of ICICI Chanda Kochhar reached the floor, know the whole matter

new Delhi: Conferred with many prestigious awards in the country and abroad, Chanda D. Kochhar, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank, who was once a shining personality of the banking sector, had a journey to reach the floor. Significantly, Kochhar was arrested on Friday along with her husband Deepak Kochhar in a loan fraud case. Seven years ago, the Kochhars were booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with a loan fraud of Rs 3,250 crore. It also included the Videocon group. The CBI accused Chanda Kochhar between 2009-2011 of industrialist Venugopal N. Dhoot’s Videocon group has been accused of illegally sanctioning loans. The CBI had earlier in 2019 booked companies like Videocon International Electronics Limited, NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd, Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, besides the Kochhars and Dhoot. The CBI claimed that after the Videocon group got a loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank in 2012, Dhoot allegedly transferred Rs 64 crore to New Power Renewables, where Deepak Kochhar had a 50 per cent stake.

Borrowers benefited

The CBI chargesheet states that due to Kochhar, ICICI Bank sanctioned loans to Videocon Group and others against the bank’s policies and these were later declared as non-performing assets (NPAs), causing losses to the bank and loan defaults. The takers got benefited. After investigation, the CBI declared it a fraud. Banking sources say that ICICI Bank reported maximum NPAs during Chanda’s leadership. By 2021, this had grown to around Rs 200,000 crore, according to information sought by Pune-based businessman Prafulla Sharda under RTI. Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Parliament that ICICI Bank has written off loans worth Rs 42,164 crore.

Chanda Kochhar Arrest: Chanda Kochhar and Deepak Kochhar arrested by CBI in cheating case, full details

Irregularities came to the fore in the year 2018

In early 2018, Chanda went on leave and then applied for retirement, which was accepted by ICICI Bank. After this some irregularities came to the fore. Following complaints and media revelations, ICICI Bank in June 2018 appointed retired Supreme Court judge, Justice B.N. A committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Shri Krishna. In the report, Kochhar was accused of violating the code of conduct of ICICI Bank and not dealing with the needs of the bank in an appropriate manner. Following this report, ICICI Bank decided to take action against Chanda and declared his retirement from the bank as dismissal, depriving him of all benefits from the bank.

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Question raised on the report of Justice Shrikrishna

Infuriated by this, Chanda not only questioned Justice Srikrishna’s report but also challenged his dismissal by ICICI Bank in the Bombay High Court and later in the Supreme Court, but met with disappointment. The verdict left a deep dent in the reputation of Jodhpur-born and Mumbai-educated Kochhar, once a prominent figure in the Indian banking sector. She joined ICICI Bank as a trainee in 1984 and became Executive Director in 2001. Chanda received several national and international awards. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan. Chanda’s arrest by the CBI marks a tragic end to his illustrious banking career.

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