ICICI-Videocon case: The independent enquiry, under Justice Srikrishna has found Chanda Kochhar in violation of code of conduct.
The Justice Srikrishna panel, set up to independently enquire the allegations of quid pro quo in the controversial Videocon loan case, has indicted Chanda Kochhar, the former CEO and MD of ICICI Bank. The bank has said that the independent enquiry has found the former top boss in violation of code of conduct.
Moreover, the bank’s board of directors has decided to treat her resignation as ‘Termination for Cause’ and require the “clawback of all bonuses paid from April 2009 until March 2018”. The bank also said that it will take further actions if “warranted” in the matter. Chanda Kochhar stepped down as bank’s MD and CEO on October 4, 2018, nearly four months after of being sent on leave.
An independent enquiry panel was set up by the bank’s board under former Supreme Court judge B Srikrishna to look into the allegations — whether or not Chanda Kochhar violated bank’s code of conduct while sanctioning loan to Videocon Group, whose promoter Venugopal Dhoot had business ties with her husband Deepak Kochhar.
“The Enquiry Report concluded… that Ms Chanda Kochhar was in violation of the ICICI Bank Code of Conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations,” ICICI Bank said in a statement to stock exchanges.
The indictment has come nearly a week following an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the Kochhars, Dhoot and others for allegedly cheating ICICI Bank of Rs 1,730 crore until March 2012. The CBI has alleged that “the accused (Chanda Kochhar) sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI Bank”.
After the initial denial of any wrong-doing, ICICI Bank eventually appointed former SC judge B Srikrishna to examine allegations levelled against Chanda Kochhar. In October last year, law firm Cyril Mangladas, which had exonerated Chanda Kochhar from the charges of nepotism and conflict of interest, withdrew its clean-cheat.
The controversy came to light when The Indian Express first reported on March 29, 2018, that Dhoot provided crores of rupees to a firm he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after Videocon Group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012.