The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has started inspecting power company NuPower Renewables and five other firms linked to the ICICI Bank case, PTI reported on Wednesday. ICICI Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar is being investigated for allegedly favouring the Ruia brothers of Essar group for “round-tripping” investments into NuPower Renewables, which is owned by Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar.
Union minister PP Chaudhary told PTI in an interview on Tuesday that the ministry ordered inspection of NuPower Renewables and other firms on April 23 under Section 206 (5) the Companies Act, 2013. He added that Manmohan Juneja, the regional director (western) under the ministry, is carrying out the inspection. Section 206 (5) empowers the central government to direct inspection of books and papers of a company by an inspector appointed by it for the purpose.
Arvind Gupta, a trustee of the Indian Investors Protection Council who exposed the alleged Videocon loan fraud, levelled the allegations of favouritism against Kochhar in the NuPower Renewables case.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 11, Gupta alleged that NuPower received round-tripped investments of Rs 453 crore from Essar Group, routed through Matix Group and its holding entity Firstland Holdings Limited – both based in Mauritius. “Unlike [the] Videocon deal, here Essar Group has used front companies in Mauritius to round-trip money to NuPower, not directly,” said Gupta.