Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the money laundering case.
The ED had registered a case of money laundering against both the husband and wife a year and a half ago. The agency has been questioning the Kochhar couple for alleged irregularities in lending to the Videocon group from the bank and money laundering.
Citing the experts of the case, it has been told in the media that Deepak Kochhar was arrested at around 8.30 pm on Monday night after several hours of questioning.
Deepak Kochhar has been kept in ED custody till 19 September.
What is the matter
Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI Bank for nine consecutive years, is facing charges in the case of loans to Videocon Group. There are allegations that he misused his position as CEO of ICICI Bank.
The matter was first exposed by the media following a complaint by Arvind Gupta, a whistle blower. Arvind Gupta was an investor in Videocon Group.
He had questioned the transactions between ICICI Bank and Videocon Group in the year 2016. In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, he gave information about Kochhar’s alleged unfair behavior and conflict of interest.
At that time, much attention was not paid to Arvind Gupta’s complaint. He then gathered more information about NU Power Renewables, a company promoted by Deepak Kochhar in 2010.
In 2018, when the Indian Express published a report on these financial mess, this matter became the headlines of the national media.
The newspaper Indian Express claimed in March that ICICI Bank had given a loan of Rs 3250 crore to five companies of Videocon Group in April 2012.
Chanda Kochhar was accused of abusing her position for allegedly providing financial benefits to her husband.
ICICI Bank decided to conduct an independent investigation. The bank announced on 30 May 2018 that the board would conduct a ‘detailed investigation’ into the allegations of the whistle blower.
Then the responsibility of independent investigation in this case was entrusted to former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna. In January 2019, the Supreme Court investigation was completed and Chanda Kochhar was found guilty.
This matter had increased so much that he had to resign from his post on 4 October 2018. While Chanda Kochhar’s term was to be completed in March 2019.
In April 2019, the CBI took up the case and started an initial investigation into the transactions between Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group and some unknown people.
The CBI registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
The ED also started an investigation into the case under the Money Laundering Act.
Earlier this year, the ED attached assets worth Rs 78 crore related to Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and companies owned and controlled by them.
Now ED has arrested Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar.