New Delhi/Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not yet ruled out the possibility that it may question ICICI Bank chief executive officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar as part of its probe against her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot.

However, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) clarified they will not summon the Kochhars for questioning this week.

“From CBI’s end, there is nothing that is being done against the Kochhar family as of now. Neither is Chanda Kochhar being called in this week nor is her husband Deepak Kochhar likely to be summoned now. Their questioning is not imminent. We will see what a further course of action entails," a person familiar with the developments said on condition of anonymity.

Deepak Kochhar, founder of NuPower Renewables.
Deepak Kochhar, founder of NuPower Renewables.

The ED, too, stated that it would look into the matter if and when the CBI registered a case, upon closing its preliminary enquiry or PE.

“Fact finding is happening but we are not actively looking at the case. CBI is the investigative agency leading the case. As and when CBI registers an FIR, we will register a case to look at any alleged violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) or Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," said an ED official who did not want to be named.

A PE registered by the CBI early in March against Deepak Kochhar, and Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of Videocon group, sought to verify a Rs40,000 crore loan given to the latter.

CBI, however, did not say if the PE would eventually lead to the filing of an FIR (first information report) by the agency. It pointed to an alleged conflict of interest in a Rs3,250 crore loan grant to Videocon group by ICICI Bank.

The amount was granted as part of a Rs40,000 crore loan by a consortium of 20 banks in 2012. Dhoot allegedly gave Rs64 crore in 2010 through a fully owned entity to NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd that he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two of his relatives. It was alleged that Dhoot transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs9 lakh, six months after receiving the loan from ICICI Bank—an allegation he denied to Mint last week, stating that “Videocon did not possess shares of NuPower when ICICI sanctioned the loan."

“There is no conflict of interest. Pinnacle energy acquired Supreme Energy along with a liability of Rs64 crore. The transaction was done at fair market value," Deepak Kochhar told Mint by telephone.

ICICI Bank did not reply to Mint’s email seeking a response.

Close