Home / News / India /  Deepak Kochhar held in ICICI case

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday made its first arrest in the ICICI Bank quid pro quo case, when it arrested Deepak Kochhar. This comes after the agency had registered a money laundering case against him and his wife former head of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar.

The case pertains to ICICI Bank allegedly extending high value loan to Videocon Industries in lieu of investments made in Deepak Kochhar's company NuPower Renewables Ltd.

So far in the questioning, Kochhars had maintained that Videocon's investment or fund infusion in NuPower was a pure business transaction, however recent evidence pointed to trail of funds connecting Videocon and NuPower, said an ED official.

"DeepaKochhar was arrested after being confronted with this new evidence that there is indeed a case for illegal gratification here. He will be produced in the special prevention of money laundering court tomorrow for custody," said the ED official.

In January the ED had provisionally attached assets worth 78 crore. The ED’s adjudicating authority is yet to confirm the attachment.

Last month, a company supposedly belonging to Deepak Kochhar approached the Delhi High Court seeking release of assets seized by the ED in March last year in the case.

The company, Pacific Capital Service Pvt Ltd, sought release of the assets on the ground that the seizure can continue only for a period of one year and even after lapse of the period, no complaint (charge sheet) has been filed by the ED in the case.

The ED counsel raised a preliminary objection to the petition on the ground of jurisdiction and submitted that a similar petition challenging the seizure of assets in another case is already pending in the Bombay High Court.

The ED had registered a money laundering case in the matter under Prevention of Money Act (PMLA) in the first week of February 2019 based on a Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) case on 22 January 2019.

The agency is probing alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of 1,875 crore loan by the ICICI Bank to Videocon. Out of this loan, sanctioned in 2012, an amount of 300 crore allegedly was involved in a quid pro quo arrangement. Chanda Kochhar is alleged to have misused her office and received illegal gratification through her husband from Dhoot in the matter of a 300-crore term loan sanctioned to Videocon International Electronics Ltd.

It is alleged that Dhoot had invested in Deepak Kochhar's company, NuPower Renewables, through his firm Supreme Energy as a quid pro quo to loans cleared by ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the CEO of the bank on 1 May, 2009.

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