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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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Additionals funds required to fulfill promises: Tripura CM to Centre

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BJP appointed Biplab Kumar Deb as the CM of Tripura after its victory over the LEFT Front 25 year rule.

Agartala: Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb has demanded additional financial aid from the Union government to fulfill the promises made during the state election.

Biplab Kumar Deb met Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Modi at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi to place these demands on Friday.

In a statement issued by the CM’s office, it mentioned “Some promises have been made to the people of the state. Fulfillment of all these promises can be possible with additional financial support from the Centre as the state government is passing through a very difficult financial position”.

Deb has desired an additional funding for filling up 12,222 vacant posts of school teachers, the introduction of the 7th central Pay Commission recommendations for state government employees, setting up a central agricultural university and a super-specialty hospital like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Tripura.

The chief minister has also requested the Centre to allow one-time relaxation in educational and professional qualifications for teachers in Tripura.

After the first BJP government in Tripura came to power in March, it was sanctioned Rs 2,587 crore central funds for development projects and schemes such as housing, education, and rural jobs.

According to the BJP, Tripura is under a deficit of Rs 11,355 crore, accumulated during the 25 years of Left Front rule.

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Death to child rapists: Union Cabinet approves the POCSO Act

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Keeping in mind the uproar over the recent rapes of minors in the nation, the Union Cabinet has approved the promulgation of an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.

Official sources said in New Delhi that the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.

Until now,  the minimum punishment for such heinous crimes was seven years in jail and the maximum was a life-term.

The move comes after the outrage caused by the nation due to the rape and murder of minor girls in Kathua and Surat district recently. But even while the Cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi was meeting on Saturday morning to discuss the issue, the rape and murder of a four-month-old infant in Indore sent fresh disturbance across the country.

 

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Cabinet approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018: Provision for confiscating properties of escapees

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The cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs.100 crore or more will come under this order.

The Union Cabinet has approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018. This would help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

The cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs.100 crore or more will come under the purview of this Ordinance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier approved the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to introduce the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament.

The ordinance states to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

A special forum to be created for the expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences, according to the ordinance.

In the near past, there have been several instances of economic offenders flee in the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings. The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences – first, it hampers investigation in criminal cases; second, it wastes precious time of courts of law, third, it undermines the rule of law in India.

The ordinance has provisions for a Court (‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002) to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

 

A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

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