The Income Tax Department has issued a fresh notice to Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, in connection with its tax evasion probe with links to the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, officials said. They said the fresh notice to Deepak Kochhar had been issued in his individual capacity and it sought details of his personal finances and transactions. He has been asked to furnish the documents within 10 days, they said. The department had sought details from him in his capacity as the Managing Director (MD) of NuPower Renewables, the firm under the department’s scanner, twice earlier.
The tax department is specifically looking into the flow of about Rs 325 crore from two Mauritius-based firms to NuPower Renewables Private Ltd. The two foreign-based firms have been identified as First Land Holding Limited and DH Renewables Holding Limited. The department had also sought the share valuation report for investment in NuPower Renewables, apart from copies of balance sheets and profits. The taxman is now studying the nature of activities of NuPower Renewables between 2010-11 and 2015-16. The earlier notices were issued to Deepak Kochhar under Section 131 (power regarding discovery, production of evidence) of the I-T Act.
The department has also sought the names and addresses, nationality of the promoters, directors and beneficial shareholders of these firms as part of the earlier two notices, the officials had said. The department had also sent a detailed questionnaire, seeking details of the firm’s operations, to be answered by Deepak Kochhar as it is probing the investments made by the two Mauritius-based firms in his company with suspected links to the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan case.
The CBI is already conducting a preliminary enquiry in this loan case and has named Kochhar in it. The CBI probe is to find out if there was any quid pro quo involved in the bank issuing a Rs 3,250-crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012. The loan deal had recently made news after reports questioned it and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochhar.