26 Dec 2022

Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot Also Arrested In ICICI Bank Loan Fraud Case

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Videocon Group Chairsan Venugopal Dhoot on Monday. This arrest has taken place in the ICICI Bank loan fraud case. Earlier on Friday, the agency had arrested former CEO and MD of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar. After this, they were sent to the custody of 3 days (24 to 26 December) by the Special Court of Mumbai.

Dhoot had allegedly bribed Kochhars: Dhoot, who was questioned several times over the last four years, was arrested on the basis of documentary evidence, which allegedly showed he bribed the Kochhars for availing loans from the private bank, CBI sources said.

Loans were sanctioned to various Videocon companies by flouting norms: It is alleged that when Chanda Kochhar took charge of ICICI Bank, one of the largest private banks in the country, some loans were sanctioned to various Videocon companies by flouting the norms. In 2012, the existing balance of six accounts of Videocon group companies was adjusted against a loan of Rs 1,730 crore sanctioned under domestic debt refinancing.

ICICI Bank suffered losses due to declaration of NPA: At the same time, CBI had also told that out of 3250 crore loan given in 2012, 2810 crore rupees (about 86%) were not repaid. The accounts of Videocon and its group companies were declared NPAs in June 2017. The bank suffered losses due to the declaration of NPA.

Beneficiary of loans is Dhoot, said lawyer: Chanda Kochhar's lawyer told the court on Saturday that Chanda was not a director or stakeholder in any company to which loans were given. This statement was acceptable to ED and ED did not arrest her. 

But the CBI was not satisfied with this statement and the arrest was made. Chanda's lawyer had said that the beneficiary of these loans is VN Dhoot. He questioned, 'If the CBI feels that a fraud took place then why only Kochhar was arrested and not the beneficiary.'

Irregularities in six high-value loans: In its First Information Report (FIR) filed in January 2019, CBI alleged there were irregularities in six high-value loans worth Rs 1,875 crore disbursed to Videocon Group between June 2009 and October 2011.

CBI claimed that the Kochhars allegedly got Rs 64 crore bribe from Dhoot a day after the bank disbursed a loan of Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) in August 2009.

Chanda Kochhar stepped down from the ICICI Bank in October 2018 after allegations of irregularities surfaced against her.

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