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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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Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri

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Jammu| An Army soldier was killed when Pakistan violated the ceasefire by heavily shelling forward areas and posts along the Line of Control with mortar bombs in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district Thursday, officials said.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Keri belt of Sunderbani sector this morning, they said.

One soldier was was killed in Pakistani firing, they added.

Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire over 110 times along the LoC since January.

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CRPF jawan kills 3 colleagues in J-K

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New Delhi| Three CRPF personnel were killed Wednesday after a colleague allegedly fired at them after an altercation at their camp in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

 

The alleged fratricide incident happened at around 10 pm when constable Ajit Kumar shot three of his colleagues from his service rifle at the 187th battalion camp of the force in the Battal Ballian area in Udhampur, they said.

 

The officials said while three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in the firing, Kumar also shot himself and is critical in a hospital.

 

Kumar hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and was rushed to a military hospital nearby, they said.

 

The deceased have been identified as head constables Pokarmal R of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Yogendra Sharma of Delhi and Umed Singh of Rewari in Haryana.

 

The incident is said to be triggered after the jawans had an altercation, they said.

 

Senior CRPF and police officials have rushed to the spot, they added.

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Vice president, PM greet nation on Holi

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Narendra Modi

 

New Delhi| Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday greeted people on Holi, saying the festival symbolises the victory of good over evil.

In his message, Naidu said, “Holi is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a festival that expresses joy and camaraderie.”

 

Modi hoped that the festival of colours will bring peace, harmony, prosperity and happiness in our lives.

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