Days after an FIR was registered in the ICICI-Videocon loan matter against former ICICI Bank MD-CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and CEO of Videocon Group Venugopal Dhoot, the CBI officer probing the case has been transferred.
On Thursday, a day after Superintendent of police of the probe agency's Banking and Security Fraud Cell Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra filed a case booking the Kochhars and Dhoot for criminal conspiracy and cheating, he was moved to Economic offences branch of CBI in Ranchi.
Months after a preliminary inquiry into the matter, the CBI on Wednesday had registered an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,250 crore ICICI Bank-led consortium loan to the Videocon group and was carrying out searches on Thursday at three locations in Mumbai and one location in Aurangabad. The search operation started Thursday morning and also covered offices of NuPower, a company operated by Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar.
The preliminary enquiry had been initiated after shareholder Arvind Gupta had alleged that Kochhar influenced a Rs 3,250-crore loan to the Videocon group, run by Venugopal Dhoot, in 2012, in return for a deal concerning NuPower Renewables and Supreme Energy, a clean-energy firm run by her husband Deepak Kochhar. It is alleged that Dhoot has given Rs 64 crore in 2010 to a firm promoted by Deepak Kochhar and two of his relatives. In October, Chanda Kochhar had to step down as MD-CEO of ICIC Bank due to the controversy. She was succeeded by Sandeep Bakhshi.
Upon the case being filed, Union Minister Arun Jaitley had issued a blog post on the matter where he contrasted "Investigative Adventurism" with "Professional Investigation".
Jaitley wrote: "Sitting thousands of kilometres away, when I read the list of potential targets in the ICICI case, the thought that crossed my mind was again the same – Instead of focusing primarily on the target, is a journey to nowhere (or everywhere) being undertaken? If we include the entire who’s who of the Banking Industry – with or without evidence – what cause are we serving or actually hurting."
The FIR had also sought a probe into the role of other (named) prominent bankers in connection with the case.