The Securities and Exchange Board of India has favoured adjudication proceedings against ICICI Bank and its Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar for allegedly violating disclosure norms, PTI reported on Monday. The bank allegedly did not disclose conflict of interest in business dealings of Kochhar’s husband with the Videocon Group.
ICICI Bank may face a penalty of up to Rs 25 crore and Kochhar may have to pay up to Rs 1 crore besides facing other penal actions, an unidentified senior official of SEBI told PTI. The adjudication process will convene after SEBI receives the bank and Kochhar’s replies to show-cause notices, said the official.
Officials told PTI that the findings of SEBI’s preliminary examination was based on inquiries involving Kocchar, ICICI Bank and Videocon Group. Kochhar admitted that her husband Deepak Kocchar has had many dealings with Videocon Group over the last several years, the inquiry showed.
A spokesperson for the bank confirmed that it has received the show-cause notice. “Documents relied upon under the notice have been received today,” the spokesperson told PTI. “Appropriate response to the show-cause notice after seeking legal advice would be submitted within the timeline provided.”
Questions have been raised over a Rs 3,250-crore loan the bank sanctioned to the Videocon Group in 2012. Videocon Group CEO Venugopal Dhoot allegedly provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables six months after his company received the loan. The loan was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon secured from a consortium of 20 banks.
In March, the Central Bureau of Investigation initiated a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the bank had violated any law in sanctioning the loan. On June 18, the bank said Kochhar will be on leave till an independent investigation into allegations of conflict of interest against her is complete.