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ICICI Bank fraud case: CBI arrests Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot

The 71-year-old was arrested from Mumbai after a brief questioning session on Monday morning, hours before former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar were to be produced before a Special Court for a remand hearing

CBI arrests Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot in ICICI Bank fraud case
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First Published Dec 26, 2022, 11:33 AM IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot in the ICICI Bank fraud case. The 71-year-old was arrested from Mumbai after a brief questioning session on Monday morning, hours before former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar were to be produced before a Special Court for a remand hearing. The CBI is expected to file a charge sheet against the three and other suspects soon.

The central agency had arrested Chanda and Deepak in the case pertaining to alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned to Videocon Group companies by the bank.

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The CBI has alleged that ICICI Bank sanctioned credit facilities worth Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group companies promoted by Venugopal Dhoot in violation of the RBI guidelines, Banking Regulation Act and the bank's credit policy.

The agency claimed that by sanctioning credit facility of Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Limited (VIEL) in contravention of rules and policies of the bank, Kochhar had committed 'criminal breach of trust' under IPC section 409 (criminal breach of trust).

The very next day, Dhoot allegedly transferred Rs 64 crore to NRL from VIEL through his company Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL). The CBI further claimed that Chanda converted Rs 64 crore allegedly received from Dhoot, managing director of Videocon group, for her own use. She allegedly invested the amount in her husband's company NuPower Renewable Limited. 

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The CBI had, in 2019, named the Kochhar couple and Dhoot, along with companies Videocon Industries Limited, Videocon International Electronics Ltd, Nupower Renewables (NRL) managed by Deepak Kochhar and Supreme Energy as accused in the First Information Report registered under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI claimed that in 'furtherance of criminal conspiracy with other accused persons', Chanda sanctioned various loans to Videocon Group. Citing alleged quid pro quo, the CBI claimed that Chanda lived in a flat, which was under litigation between Videocon and Deepak Kochhar, without paying any consideration during the period she dealt with the loan proposal of Videocon Group. In 2016, the flat, valued at Rs 5.25 crore in 1996, was transferred to Quality Advisor, a family trust of Deepak Kochhar, for a meagre amount of Rs 11 lakh, the CBI alleged.

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