Highly placed sources said that a lookout circular (LoC) has been issued against Chanda Kochhar, accused of conniving with her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon MD Venugopal Dhoot in cheating the private sector bank while disbursing six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore to Videocon group companies between June 2009 and October 2011.
After registration of FIR on January 22, the LoC issued against Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot have also been revised, sources added. Earlier, the LoCs were issued by the CBI against Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot around March-April last year as part of its preliminary enquiry (PE) in the ICICI Bank probe.
There were rumours last year that an LoC was issued against Chanda Kochhar as well at that time, but CBI officials clarified that she was not named in the PE, and an LoC against her has been issued only now after the FIR.
The CBI officials, however, refused to divulge if the LoC against Chanda Kochhar is limited to “alert only” or has “detain” provision.
CBI sources further told TOI that they are also planning to soon call Kochhars and Dhoot for questioning to ascertain why such high value loans were given to Videocon group in contravention of banking regulation act, RBI guidelines and the credit policy of the ICICI Bank.
Chanda Kochhar has been accused by CBI of taking a bribe from Dhoot through her husband for favouring the private group. One such payment — Rs 64 crore — was made by Dhoot to Deepak Kochhar’s company NuPower Renewables (NRL) a day after the ICICI Bank disbursed a loan of Rs 300 crore in the account of Videocon International Electronics (VIEL) on September 7, 2009.
The CBI FIR in the matter also refers to the names of Sandeep Bakshi, current CEO & MD of ICICI Bank; K V Kamath, chairman of New Development Bank of BRICS countries; Sonjoy Chatterjee, chairman of Goldman Sachs India; K Ramkumar, former executive director of ICICI Bank; N S Kannan, MD & CEO of ICICI Prudential Life; Zarin Daruwala, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank India; Rajiv Sabharwal, MD & CEO of Tata Capital, and Homi Khusrokhan, board member of ICICI Bank.
Although not named as accused in the FIR, CBI has stated that these officials were on various sanctioning committees of ICICI Bank when loans were granted to the Videocon group in violation of rules, leading to losses of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.
Sources said that they have not decided on the roles of sanctioning committee members yet and documents are being analysed right now.
CBI FIR has stated that six loans — worth Rs 300 crore (August 26, 2009), Rs 750 crore (October 31, 2011), Rs 175 crore (June 30, 2009), Rs 240 crore (November 17,2010),Rs110crore (November 17, 2010) and Rs 300 crore (May 30, 2011) were given to Videocon group companies.