CBI bans overseas travel for Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot
Videocon CEO Venugopal Dhoot and ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar have been barred from traveling outside India, courtesy Central Bureau of Investigation's ongoing preliminary inquiry on them. They have been issued a lookout circular (LoC) by the Immigration authorities as the CBI probes alleged criminality in ICICI Bank's Rs. 3,250 crore loan to Videocon in 2012. Read on for more.
No LoC against Chanda Kochhar
According to a Hindustan Times report, no LoC has been issued against Chanda Kochhar. "Chanda Kochhar heads ICICI Bank and being in a responsible position, it's not expected, nor anticipated/feared that she will (try to) leave (India)," HT quoted an unnamed government official as saying. However, the CBI may have asked the immigration authorities to keep a check on her travel plans.
Rumors are being spread, alleges Venugopal Dhoot
"This is all your imagination. I am told that there is no LoC against me. Rumors are being spread. Where is this talk of leaving the country coming from? My passport expired two months back and I haven't gone out of India in the last five years," Dhoot said. "God's watching from above and he will punish all those who are spreading rumors," he added.
Deepak Kochhar's brother grilled by CBI for 12 hours
Meanwhile, immigration authorities stopped Deepak Kochhar's brother Rajiv Kochhar on Thursday from leaving India. Though Rajiv isn't named in the inquiry, nor has he been issued an LoC, the CBI has been interrogating him for two days. He was reportedly questioned for 12 hours on Friday. The CBI suspects he might have helped re-structure the loan given by ICICI Bank to Videocon.
Videocon loaned Rs. 40,000 crore from 20 banks in 2012
The CBI is probing its suspicions of quid-pro-quo in ICICI Bank's loan to Videocon and Dhoot's subsequent personal investment of Rs. 64 crore (and transfer of ownership) in NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd, a company he co-founded with Deepak Kochhar. ICICI Bank had sanctioned Rs. 3,250 crore of the Rs. 40,000 crore lent to the Videocon Group in 2012 by a consortium of 20 banks.