In relation to an alleged money laundering case involving the bank and the Videocon Group, Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar was granted bail – on a bond of Rs. 5 lakh – by a Mumbai court.
Deepak Kochhar, her husband was arrested in connection with much the same case in September last year. However, he is still in prison. She is also ordered to not leave the nation in any condition and hence she is not going to go out of the country without approval from the court.
In February 2019, the Compliance Directorate filed a criminal case against Mr. and Ms. Kochhar, and Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group for money laundering charges, to investigate suspected irregularities and corrupt practices in the ICICI Bank’s sanctioning of ~ 1,875 crores in loans.
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At the same time, the ED is also examining at least two other loans issued during the period of Ms. Kochhar in ICICI Bank. These were to the Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech and the Bhushan Steel Group.
The case of the central agency is based on a complaint filed by the CBI, which is conducting an impartial investigation into the three persons referred to above and three additional firms. This includes two under the name of Videocon and operated by Mr. Dhoot’s companies.
After Ms. Kochhar took over as CEO in May 2009, the CBI alleged that Mr. Dhoot invested in NuPower via another business – Supreme Energy – in a quid pro quo deal through loans cleared by ICICI.
In the last year’s December, the Supreme Court rejected a request or appeal against her sacking. Regarding this, the court said that “… not inclined to interfere in the impugned order. This falls within the realm of private contract…”
In 2019, months after she stepped down from the post, Ms. Kochhar was sacked. She and her husband have also denied all the allegations that are constantly put against them.
The ED temporarily added ~ 78 crores worth of properties belonging to Ms. Kochhar in January. Her Mumbai apartment and those belonging to a business owned by Mr. Kochhar were part of the provisionally attached estate.
In its earlier investigations, the CBI found that between June 2009 and October 2011, in alleged breach of existing policies, six loans worth 1,875 crores were sanctioned and listed as non-performing assets in 2012. This led the bank to lose around 1,730 crores, the CBI claimed.