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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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Media survey on women in India based on perception, flawed methodology: Hansraj Ahir

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New Delhi | The recent international survey, which described India as the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the alleged high risk of sexual violence, was based on “perception” and “flawed methodology”, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the report was not based on any scientific survey but a poll of a statistically insignificant sample of persons and presents a distorted picture of the comparative state of women safety in different countries.

“The said polling survey has been rejected by the National Commission for Women as it is based on perception and flawed methodology. However, steps have been taken for increasing safety of women,” he said replying to a written question.

The survey by a British media organisation of about 550 experts on issues faced by women claimed last month that India was the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour.

War-torn Afghanistan and Syria ranked second and third, respectively, followed by Somalia and Saudi Arabia.

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MiG 21 fighter jet crashes in Himachal’s Kangra; no news on pilot

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A MiG 21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, the police said.

The accident took place after 1 pm. A video shows the wreckage of the jet which took off from Punjab’s Pathankot, a frontline Indian Air Force base. Visuals from the site of the accident showed a part of the aircraft engulfed in flames, lying in what appears to be a field.

Superintendent of police of Kangra, Santosh Patial said the pilot was missing. The rescue team is on the way, reported a news agency.

In another aviation accident this year, a small aircraft crashed in a crowded Mumbai neighbourhood on June 28, killing five people, including four crew members and a pedestrian.

The Indian Air Force has been the world’s largest operator of the jet, the first variants of which entered service with the air force in the sixties. This is the second Indian Air Force fighter jet crash in two months.

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Functioning of the state government is ‘completely paralysed’ despite SC verdict: Delhi government

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New Delhi | The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the functioning of the state government is “completely paralysed” and it can’t order transfer or posting of officers despite the recent Constitution bench verdict on the administration of Delhi.

The bench of Justices AK Sikri and Navin Sinha said it knows everything and the matter will be taken on July 26 since it is not a regular bench.

Senior advocate P Chidambaram who was representing the Delhi government said, “Functioning of the government is completely paralysed. We cannot post officers, we cannot transfer officers despite the recent constitution bench verdict which has explained every aspect. These issues needs to be adjudicated at the earliest.”

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who also appeared for the Delhi government, said officers are not willing to file an affidavit on this matter and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had therefore filed the affidavit. “I just wanted to clarify the situation.”

Earlier a five-judge Constitution bench including Chief Justice Dipak Misra recently stated broad parameters for the governance of the Delhi which had a constant power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since the election of Aam Aadmi Party in 2014.

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