Videocon founder arrested in ICICI Bank loan fraud case

Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot | Photo: File Image

New Delhi: The CBI on Monday arrested Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot in connection with the ICICI Bank loan fraud case, officials said.

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

The CBI is planning to file a charge sheet against the three and other suspects soon, they said.

The three-day remand of Kochhars arrested on December 23 is getting over on Monday.

The CBI had taken into custody Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak alleging that they were not cooperating with the investigation, and giving evasive replies.

Chanda Kochhar has denied knowledge of any pecuniary transactions between her husband and Dhoot, the agency had claimed during remand proceedings at a CBI Special Court in Mumbai on December 24.

Senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing for the Kochhars, had opposed the remand, saying the "main borrower of the loan has not been arrested, and the present accused were not the beneficiary of any amount.

Desai had also brought to the court's notice a letter written by the ICICI Bank to the CBI in July 202I stating that there was no wrongful loss to it in any of the transactions under question.

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

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

It was also alleged that as a part of the quid pro quo, Dhoot made an investment of Rs 64 crore in Nupower Renewables through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) and transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Deepak Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2010 and 2012.

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