ICICI Bank loan fraud: CBI files charge sheet against Kochhars, Dhoot
New Delhi: The CBI has filed a chargesheet against former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot in the Rs 3,250-crore loan fraud case, officials said on Saturday.
The agency has filed a chargesheet under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named nine entities, including companies and individuals, according to officials.
Officials said the CBI has moved to file a final report in a special court in Mumbai without mandatory permission to prosecute Chanda Kochhar from ICICI Bank.
A letter has been sent to the bank seeking permission, but its response is awaited.
Normally, the special court waits for permission before proceeding with the trial of the charge sheet.
A special CBI court is yet to take up the chargesheet, officials said.
They said that the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act are not applicable in cases where permission to prosecute is denied.
The agency arrested Kochars and Doodh in December last year.
Senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing for the Kochhars, opposing the CBI’s remand plea, said the court was brought to the notice of a letter written by ICICI Bank to the CBI in July 2021, which stated that there was no wrongful loss in any of the transactions in question.
The Bombay High Court had granted bail to the couple on January 9, underlining that the CBI’s move to arrest them was “casual, mechanical and passive and clearly unconscionable in mind”.
In the present case, the High Court observed that the grounds for arrest were non-cooperation and non-furnishing of complete and correct information.
“The reason stated in the arrest notes for the arrest of the petitioners, in view of the above facts, appears to us to be mundane, mechanical, passive and clearly devoid of mental exercise,” the court observed.
The bench held that the arrest of the Kochhars was in violation of Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which mandates the issuance of a notice to appear before the concerned police officer.
The CBI’s FIR has accused the Kochhars and Doodh along with Navdar Renewables (NRL), which is managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Ltd.
The agency alleged that ICICI Bank extended Rs 3,250 crore credit facilities to companies of the Videocon group advertised through Dood, in violation of the Banking Regulation Act, RBI guidelines and the bank’s lending policy.
As part of Quit Pro Go, Dudt Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) invested in Nupower Renewables for Rs. 64 crore and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar between 2010 and 2010. 2012.