CBI arrested Venugopal Dhoot,the chairman of the Videocon group for allegedly cheating in the ICICI loan fraud case.
New Delhi: On Monday, The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) arrested Venugopal Dhoot, the chairman of the Videocon group for allegedly cheating in the ICICI loan fraud case. According to officials, Mr. Dhoot has been arrested from Mumbai in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group companies.
This comes days after the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ICICI Bank, Chanda D. Kochhar, was arrested by the CBI along with her husband, Deepak Kochhar, in a case linked to alleged irregularities in an over ₹ 3,000-crore loan provided to the Videocon Group when she was the Boss of the private sector bank.
The Kochhars are being interrogated after being presented in front of the Mumbai court. The new arrests of Videocon chairman suggests a probable breakthrough for the CBI in this case.
ICICI Loan Fraud Case and Breakthrough
In 2019, CBI lodged an FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and named the accused as Kochhars and Mr. Dhoot, along with companies NuPower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd, and Videocon Industries Limited.
Chanda Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot were under the scrutiny of CBI after the conflicts came to light.
The CBI officials on the note said the amount was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that the Videocon Group secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by SBI. Almost 86 percent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan (Rs 2,810 crore) remained unpaid. The Videocon account was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2017.
As per the charges of CBI, Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested ₹64 crore in NuPower Renewables as a part of the quid pro quo, months after the bank granted the loan to the Videocon group in between 2010 and 2012. CBI in FIR also alleged that Chanda Kochhar dishonestly used her power and position to benefit her husband’s firm. Ms Kochhar was a member of the committee which granted the loans, alleges the CBI.
The CBI officials said that the amount was a part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that the Videocon Group secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by SBI. About 86 percent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan remained unpaid. In 2017, The Videocon account was declared as a non-performing asset (NPA).
RTLs (rupee term loan) sanctioned to five companies of the Videocon Group between June 2009 and October 2011 were “in violation of the credit policy of the bank”, the CBI added.
Chanda Kochhar quit as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in October 2018 over the allegations that she favoured the Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas exploration company in her tenure.
One year later, ICICI said that she violated the bank’s code of conduct and internal policies and Ms. Kochhar’s exit would be considered as “termination of cause”
0n the other hand, Chanda Kochhar has denied any wrongdoing all the time.
Rise and Fall of the “Banking sector Titan”
India’s high-profile, much-talented, rewarded, awarded and most decorated woman banker with a ‘Midas touch’, the former MD and CEO of the ICICI Bank, Chanda D. Kochhar was arrested recently from the Mumbai surfacing the internet.
These developments drew the attentions regarding the Jodhpur-born and Mumbai educated bright girl of Indian banking falling into disgrace- within 16 years – from 1984 when she joined the ICICI Bank and became the Executive Director in 2001.From there, she spread her wings and went on the ladder quickly, to become the all-powerful MD & CEO of ICICI bank in 2009
With the time, she contributed her calibre and skills to move forward and got a string of many national and international awards or honours. She was also conferred with the Padma Bhushan, and advised the government on policy issues.
Chanda’s arrest by the CBI marks yet another grisly downfall in the banking history, remarks for the high-profile banking scams arising out of the lure of lucre that have stunned the Indian banking industry as she counts among the top women bankers to crash under an shade of ignominy.