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CBI documents a PE against Deepak Kochhar, ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon

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The ICICI bank has rigorously defended Chanda Kochhar and said it lays “full faith” in her. It also stated that there was no room for any kind of favouritism, any nepotism or quid pro quo in loans given to Videocon.

 

The CBI has lodged a preliminary enquiry into the alleged connection between CEO and MD of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochar’s husband Deepak Kochhar and group Chairman of Videocon Venugopal Dhoot.

As per the sources, the PE seeks to determine the accuracy of allegations that Dhoot gave away crores of rupees to a company promoted by Deepak Kochhar along with his two relatives six months after the Videocon group got a loan of Rs. 3250 crores from the ICICI Bank in the year 2012. The amount was a fraction of the loan of Rs. 40,000 crores that the Videocon group secured from a group of 20 banks that are managed by the SBI.

Dhoot reportedly gave 64 crore rupees in the year 2010 through a completely owned entity by the name of Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL) he had established in collaboration with Deepak Kochhar along with his two relatives. It is alleged that he moved the company’s proprietorship to a trust that was owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs. 9 lakhs after six months of receiving the loan from the ICICI bank.

Moreover, as per the sources, contrary to her spouse and Dhoot name of Chanda Kochhar was not stated in the PE, which was documented a month ago based on the information that was received. The PE, however, states “unknown bank officials”.

According to the sources, Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar and “unknown” officials of the ICICI bank and other banks as well who founded the consortium, will be called in for inspection soon. The sources further added, that whether or not Chanda will be called for interrogation will be decided after the documents are examined.

The CBI has collected the documents that are related to the loan granted for Rs. 40,000 crores along with the documents that hold evidence for the setting up of NRPL that was done by Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar.

On the other hand, ICICI bank has rigorously defended Chanda Kochhar and said it lays “full faith” in her. It also stated that there was no room for any kind of favouritism, any nepotism or quid pro quo in loans given to Videocon.

Further, the business connections between Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar have now mounted to a controversy over alleged “conflict of interest”, with a whistleblower accusing Chanda Kochhar of using her position to promote her husband’s business.

M K Sharma, chairman of the ICICI bank had asserted that the lender had replied satisfactorily to all the questions that the regulators had raised in the case. He also defended the decision made by Chanda Kochhar of not to have recused herself from the credit committee meeting that had approved the loans to the Videocon group.

Dhoot, in his defence said, his investment in Supreme Energy-the company alleged to have made an investment in NuPower Renewables that was promoted by Deepak Kochhar-was just in thousand rupees and that too a short-term one. He refuted that any company of the Videocon group had given funds to the NuPower group when he was an investor in Supreme.

The allegations were first made by a shareholder in the year 2016, who had written to the CBI director and the PM.

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Jagdish Thakkar, PRO in Prime Minister’s Office dies, PM condoles death

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Jagadish Thakkar

“Extremely saddened by the demise of Shri Jagdish Thakkar, the PRO in the PMO,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

New Delhi| Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the prime minister’s office and senior journalist Jagdish Thakkar passed away here Monday.

Thakkar, 72, who was unwell for some time, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise, saying he was a wonderful person who loved his work.

“Extremely saddened by the demise of Shri Jagdish Thakkar, the PRO in the PMO. Jagdishbhai was a veteran journalist and I had the pleasure of working with him for years, both in Gujarat and in Delhi. He was known for his simplicity and warm-hearted nature,” the PM tweeted.

He said several journalists would have regularly interacted with Jagdishbhai over the years. He had previously served with many chief ministers of Gujarat.

“We have lost a wonderful person, who loved his work and did it with utmost diligence. Condolences to his family and well-wishers,” Modi said.

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Bulandshahr violence: Court sent acccused armymen on 14 day judicial custody

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Bulandshahr

Lucknow | A local court on Sunday sent the accused army men in Bulandshar violence Jitendra Malik alias Jitu Fauji to a 14-day judicial custody.

Jitendra Malik allegedly involved in the killing of a police inspector during mob violence in Bulandshahr was arrested on Saturday night. “The Army handed over Jitendra Malik to UP STF team in Meerut yesterday late night,” IG STF Amitabh Yash told PTI here today.

On Monday, a mob of some 400 people rampaged through a village in Bulandshahr district apparently after cow carcasses were found in a jungle nearby. During the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man died of gunshot wounds. Nine people have been arrested in connection with the violence. Earlier Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said Saturday that full cooperation will be extended in the investigation of the incident

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Pakistan issues visas to 139 Indian pilgrims to visit Katas Raj dham

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Katas Raj dham

New Delhi | The Pakistan High Commission on Sunday said it has issued visas to 139 Indian pilgrims to visit Katas Raj Dham, the famous Shiva temple, in the country’s Punjab province.

Under the framework of a bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines, Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan every year. Pakistani pilgrims also visit India every year under the protocol. “Another group of Indian pilgrims, comprising 139 people, have been issued visas by the Pakistan High Commission to visit Shree Katas Raj Dham in Chakwal district from December 9-15,” the Pakistan High Commission said.

Last month, Pakistan had granted visas to more than 3,800 Sikh pilgrims to visit the country. Some of the pilgrims had attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28 in Narowal. The corridor will link the Darbar Sahib shrine in Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in India.

Earlier this month, over 220 Indian pilgrims were granted visas to visit the famous Hindu temple, Shadani Darbar, in Sukkur.  Katas Raj is one of the holiest places for the Hindu community in Pakistan. The temples form a complex surrounding a pond named Katas — which is regarded as sacred by the devotees.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood stated that the issuance of visas for yet another group of pilgrims from India was consistent with Government’s of Pakistan’s policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and was a reflection of its commitment to faithfully implement the 1974 Protocol, the High Commission said in a release. He said that Pakistan remained committed to providing all possible facilitation for the visiting pilgrims and strengthening people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

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