The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday, March 2, summoned former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon managing director Venugopal Dhoot to its Mumbai office for questioning in a case related to ICICI Bank-Videocon. As per reports, Chanda Kochhar and her husband have reached the ED's office in Mumbai.
The summons was sent a day after the investigation agency carried out raids at offices and homes of the Kochhars and Dhoot. The probe agency's case is based on an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has named Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot in the loan case.
The CBI has already issued a look-out circular on February 22 against Chanda Kochhar and has revived ones against her husband Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot. Look-out circulars are notices sent to transit points like airports to restrict the movement of citizens under scrutiny by investigative agencies.
ED had earlier registered a money-laundering criminal case against Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot. "The I-T report has been shared with ED. They have made a lot of headway in their probe, including sending requests under the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) and the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to a few foreign jurisdictions where the money has been suspiciously routed. Since our case concerns about money laundering, the I-T findings are a matter of interest to us. The couple will be quizzed on this," said an ED official to a news website.
Also, raids were also conducted last month by the CBI, where several documents related to the investigation were seized. CBI had then indicated that the individuals or concerned parties will be summoned and necessary documents would be demanded.
The case pertains to a loan given by ICICI Bank to Videocon when Chanda Kochhar took charge as MD and CEO, and the professional ties between Venugopal Dhoot and Chanda Kochhar's husband. It was part of an Rs 40,000-crore loan which Videocon got from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India. The Rs 3,250 crore loan has become a non-performing asset for ICICI Bank.
56-year-old Chanda Kochhar had quit as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in October 2018 over allegations that she favoured Videocon group in the bank's lending practices.
Along with Chanda Kochhar, the CBI and ED are also probing the roles of top ICICI bankers including Sandeep Bankshi, K Ramkumar, Sonjoy Chatterjee, NS Kannan, MS Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal, KV Kamath and Homi Khusrokhan in its case.