Chanda Kochhar, family benefited from Videocon loan, alleges whistleblower

ICICI Bank

Chanda Kochhar CEO of ICICI hailed as business woman of the decade had sanctioned Rs.3250 crore loan to Videocon group and is now identified as an indirect beneficiary of the loan. which has become an NPA now. Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar along with other bank officials are likely to be questioned by CBI as part of their probe.

ICICI Bank's loan exposure to the group stood at Rs 3,250 crore, which was less than 10 percent of the total consortium facility given in April 2012, cleared by a Credit Committee chaired by then Chairman of ICICI Bank and pointed out that "Ms Chanda Kochhar was not the Chairperson of this Committee". Gupta said evidence that there are strong linkages that Chanda Kochhar and her family members are huge beneficiary of this loan. It also comes at a time when Indian banks are struggling to tackle problems of record levels of bad loans on their books.

"The board does not see a conflict of interest in any manner since Videocon group is not an investor in NuPower Renewables", said Sharma.

Sharma was delivering a televised statement on Thursday, a day after the bank released a statement saying that the board reposed faith in Kochhar. It is alleged that Dhoot, along with Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar, opened a company named Nippavar Renuubals in December 2008 in the equal partnership. "Hence, there was no need for Chanda Kochhar to recuse herself from the committee", Sharma said in a conference addressing television channels.

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In 2012, a consortium of over 20 banks and financial institutions had sanctioned facilities to Videocon Industries Limited, 12 of its subsidiaries and associates as co-obligors for a debt consolidation programme, and for the group's oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to Rs 40,000 crore.

Dhoot did not reply to a text message regarding the same, but he had earlier told Mint via a text message that "When ICICI Bank sanctioned loan, Videocon group did not possess any shares of NuPower". Deepak Kochhar is also the managing trustee of Pinnacle Energy. He has been a Director of NuPower Renewables Pvt. "There is a need for an independent third-party verification and also for ICICI Bank to come clean on disclosures", he said.

The clarification came even as the Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on the ICICI Bank for violating its directions on direct sale of securities. As of March 31, 2016, Kochhar along with Supreme Energy and Pinnacle Energy held 96.23 per cent. In the six years from FY'12 to FY'17, the accumulated losses for NuPower amounted to Rs 78 crore.

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