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Videocon Group Loan Case: Chanda Kochhar, Former CEO Of ICICI Bank, And Her Husband Detained By The CBI Until December 26

Chanda Kochhar, the former CEO and MD of ICICI Bank, and her husband Deepak Kochhar were remanded in custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 24 until December 26 concerning alleged fraud and irregularities in loans granted by the bank to entities affiliated with the Videocon Group.


 


The Kochhars were detained by the investigation team on Friday night following a brief interrogation. According to the CBI, they provided vague responses and failed to help with the inquiry.


 


The CBI has charged Kochhar with fraud and criminal conspiracy with suspected irregularities in a loan of Rs 3,250 crore given to the Videocon Group in 2012. A whistle-blowerclaimed that Kochhar's spouse Deepak Kochhar and her family benefited from the business operations, and the loan ended up becoming a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank. 


 


In accordance with the accusations, months after the Videocon group's loan from the ICICI bank was approved, former Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested millions of rupees in NuPower Renewables, a business started by Deepak Kochhar.


 


So when did this start and what exactly has been happening since 2016? Let's take a detailed look at the timeline of events and investigations that led to Chanda Kochhar's arrest: 


 


In October 2016, an investor in both ICICI Bank and the Videocon Group, Arvind Gupta, claims that ICICI Bank committed loan fraud. The Reserve Bank of India looks into the claims, but they turn up nothing significant. 


 


In March 2018, an anonymous whistle-blower filed a complaint against the bank's top management, alleging an intentional delay in recognising impairment in 31 loan accounts to reduce provisioning costs. This brought the subject back into the public eye. 


 


On March 31, 2018, the CBI opened an internal investigation and questioned Rajiv Kochhar, Chanda Kochhar's brother-in-law, and Deepak Kochhar, Chanda's husband. 


 


The ICICI board rejects any allegations of Kochhar's wrongdoing as of April 3, 2018.


 


On April 4, 2018, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) requested permission from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to investigate the ICICI Bank's 2012 loan of Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon group. 


 


On May 23, 2018, Chanda Kochhar received notice from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) about the lender's interactions with the Videocon Group and NuPowerRenewables. 


 


On May 30, 2018, the ICICI Bank board changed its position and decided to launch an independent investigation. 


 


On June 4, 2018, the CEO of ICICI Bank is reportedly on yearly leave as the whistle-blower makes new claims against Chanda Kochhar.


 


On June 15, 2018, Kochhar is placed on vacation until the investigation when the ICICI Bank selects retired Justice BN Srikrishna to head the inquiry. 


Kochhar is given till July 10 to respond to the SEBI's show cause notice. 


 


On October 4, 2018, Kochhar publicly resigns from her position as MD and CEO after the bank grants her request to leave before her term is up. 


 


In response to alleged irregularities in loans approved in 2012, the CBI filed an FIR on January 24, 2019, against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot.


 


According to a panel of the ICICI bank led by Justice BN Srikrishna, Kochhar broke the bank's code of conduct in the Videocon loan matter on January 30, 2019. According to the board, Kochhar's separation would be regarded as a "termination for cause." 


 


The CBI issued a lookout notice against Kochhar in February 2019 and a money laundering case was launched against him. 


 


In January 2020, Chanda Kochhar and her family's assets worth more than Rs 78 crore are temporarily attached by the Enforcement Directorate. 


 


Chanda Kochhar's appeal against being fired as CEO is denied by the Bombay High Court on March 5, 2020. 


 


As part of the money-laundering investigation, the ED detains Deepak Kochhar on September 8, 2020. He is released in March 2021 after posting a Rs 3 lakh personal bond.


 


On November 4, 2020, Chanda Kochhar is charged by the ED. 


 


Chanda Kochhar files a new lawsuit against ICICI Bank on February 26, 2022, requesting retirement benefits. 


 


The CBI files an FIR against Chanda Kochhar on May 28, 2022. 


 


The CBI detains Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar on December 23, 2022.


 


The Kochhars are currently in CBI's custody after years of allegations and investigations. 


 


Photo Credits: HT 


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