Indicting ICICI Bank former CEO Chanda Kochhar of violation of bank's code of conduct, an independent enquiry initiated by the bank said there was a lack of diligence on her part while extending loans to Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot. The enquiry report submitted by Justice (Retd) BN Srikrishna on Wednesday concluded that there was lack of diligence with respect to annual disclosures and violation of code of conduct, on her part.
The board of the bank based on the report has decided to treat her resignation as ‘Termination for Cause’ under the bank's internal policies.
Meanwhile, an "utterly disappointed and shocked" Chanda Kochar has expressed 'faith' that truth will ultimately prevail. "I am utterly disappointed and shocked. I haven't been given a copy of the report...I have served ICICI for last 34 years with dedication and hard work. I have never shied away from taking tough decisions whenever required in the best interest of the organisation," Kochar told news agency ANI.
She added: "This decision from the Bank has caused me immense hurt and pain. I have pursued my career as an independent professional with utmost honesty, dignity and integrity. I continue to have faith and belief in my conduct as a professional and I am certain that truth will ultimately prevail. "
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on January 24 booked former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by the bank to the group in 2012.
The investigative agency had also carried out searches at multiple locations after registering a case. These also included the offices of Videocon group in Mumbai and Aurangabad, offices of Nupower Renewables Pvt Limited which is operated by Deepak Kochhar, and Supreme Energy.
"It was alleged that the accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with others to cheat ICICI bank," the CBI spokesperson said.
In addition to Chanda, her husband Deepak and Dhoot, the agency has also named companies Nupower Renewables, 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 prevention of corruption act, they said.
It is alleged that Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested crores of rupees in Nupower months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012, they said.
The move comes 10 months after the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others in March last year, they said.
A PE is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.