MCA to probe ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar husband Deepak's companies
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered a probe against Videocon Industries and the companies associated with Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered a probe against Videocon Industries and the companies associated with Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar. The top banker is facing allegations of the conflict of interest involving her husband. The Registrar of Companies (RoC), Mumbai, has been asked to look into the allegations of violations of the Companies Act.
The probe has been ordered against Videocon Industries, Deepak Kochhar-promoted NuPower Renewables, Pacific Capital Services, Supreme Energy Private Ltd and Pinnacle Trust, sources said.
According to sources, the probe can be extended to include ICICI Bank at a later stage. The case could be transferred to Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO) for further investigation if the companies are found to be flouting the Companies Act when the RoC submits its report. Apart from MCA, the CBI and income tax department are already investigating the matter in the ICICI case.
The RoC will be examining the books of accounts of these companies to check whether or not the funds were utilised for specific purpose for which the loans were raised by these companies or was the money siphoned off, sources said.
The RoC is also likely to analyse the transactions of these companies and find out if there are any related party transactions.
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There are accusations of nepotism and corruption against Chanda Kochhar in the sanctioning of loans to the tune of Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon group of companies, which reportedly invested in Chanda’s husband’s company later on.
A large portion of the loan still remains unpaid and has been termed non-performing asset by the bank.
Venugopal Dhoot, promoter of Videocon Industries, had set up NuPower Renewables with Deepak Kochhar and owes dues to ICICI Bank.
Dhoot gave a loan of Rs 64 crore to this company through a fully-owned entity and later transferred the ownership of the same to a trust headed by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh.
Dhoot owned 50% stake in NuPower, while the rest was held by Deepak Kochhar and Pacific Capital. Pacific Capital is reportedly owned by Deepak’s father and wife of Chanda’s brother.
In March 2010, Dhoot-owned Supreme Energy became a majority owner in NuPower.
By Anjul Tomar, DNA Money