The Securities and Exchange Board of India has served a notice to ICICI Bank Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar on the dealings of the bank with Videocon Group and NuPower Renewables, a company founded by her husband Deepak Kochhar, the bank said in a stock exchange filing on Friday.
“The MD & CEO and the bank received a notice from SEBI on May 24, 2018...requiring responses on matters relating to alleged non-compliance with certain provisions of the erstwhile Listing Agreement and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015,” the bank said in the filing. The private sector lender added that it would file an appropriate response to SEBI soon.
The notice was issued after questions were raised over a Rs 3,250-crore loan ICICI Bank sanctioned to the Videocon Group in 2012. Videocon Group CEO Venugopal Dhoot allegedly provided crores of rupees to a company founded by Chanda Kochhar’s husband six months after the group got the loan. The loan was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon secured from a consortium of 20 banks.
The Central Bureau of Investigation in March initiated a preliminary inquiry to determine whether ICICI Bank violated any law in sanctioning the loan. The board of ICICI Bank has backed Chanda Kochhar, saying there was no quid pro quo, nepotism, or conflict of interest on her part in the loans granted to the Videocon Group.
In April, the agency questioned Chanda Kochhar’s brother-in-law Rajiv Kochhar as part of the inquiry into the allegations. In May, the Income Tax department questioned Deepak Kochhar on investments by two Mauritius-based entities in NuPower Renewables.