Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI Bank, has come up with a case of leverage for a loan. In December 2008, Videocon Group owner Venugopal Dhoot joined Joint Venture (JV) with the bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar and his two relatives. After this, a loan of Rs 64 crores was taken in the name of this company and later the ownership of the company was handed over to the Trust, which was under the control of Deepak Kochhar, for just Rs 9 lakhs. It has been disclosed in the information that six months ago Videocon Group had taken a loan of 3250 crores from ICICI Bank, but in 2017, when Videocon had 86 percent loan amount i.e. Rs 2810 crores, As NPA (Non-Performing Assets).
In this case, the investigating agency is investigating the transaction between Dhoot-Kochhar-ICICI. However, ICICI issued a press release on Wednesday, clearing it, “We have full faith in Chanda Kochhar, Bhai-nepotism, or whatever allegations are going on. Are wrong, This kind of rumour is spreading to spoil the reputation of ICICI. However, the board has not responded to the question of the transaction between Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot.
The ICICI Bank Board has made open statement in support of CEO Chanda Kochhar on corruption charges in granting loans to the Videocon Group. In the last 10 days due to these allegations, the share price of the bank has declined by 6 percent. While issuing a statement, the bank said, “The Board has full faith in the bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar. After seeing the facts, the board has reached the conclusion that there is no truth in the rumours of corruption, including conflict of brother-niece and interests.
What’s the matter
The rumours mentioned by the board are linked to a letter from the share-holder, to the prime minister and blog post two years ago, which have been cited in recent media reports. In this, Videocon Group has been accused of corruption from the bank’s debt. 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. On March 15, 2016, ICICI Bank’s shareholder Arvind Gupta, in a letter to the Prime Minister, had alleged that the bank had lent debt to the Videocon Group, which had lent its debt despite its poor track record. He had alleged that this was done because of the business relations of Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar. It was also stated that Kochhar family, relatives of Chanda Kochhar and Mahesh Advani and Neelam Advani became the owners of Nippavar, a company founded by Dhoot family with the help of suspicious business transactions. Gupta had said that instead of a loan, the company’s title was transferred to the Kottar family.
The bank said that 20 bank groups had given loans to the Videocon group. ICICI Bank’s contribution was 10 percent in this. Also, ICICI Bank lent money on the conditions on which other banks had lent to the companies of Videocon Group. It is reported in the release of the bank that its loan offensive system is strong. It is designed in such a way that no one can decide on giving a loan to a company.