ICICI loan case: CBI questions two NuPower directors

Business | April 12, 2018, 11:06 p.m.

New Delhi, April 12: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday questioned two directors of NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd in connection with a case related to Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012, a CBI official said.

The agency examined Mahesh Chandra Punglia and Umanath Vainkut Nayak at its headquarters here, the official said.

Earlier, the agency had examined Punglia for three days in Mumbai.

According to the CBI official, Punglia is a close aide of Videocon Group chief Venugopal Dhoot. He was previously an employee of the Group and then would offer consultancy services to it.

Punglia is also a Director in NuPower Renewables -- the company formed by ICICI Bank Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot in December 2008. 

Punglia was examined about the role of Chanda Kochhar's brother-in-law Rajiv Kochhar's Singapore-based company Avista Advisory in the restructuring of loan.

The NuPower director was also asked about the help he extended to Videocon in securing the loan from the ICICI Bank, which was part of a Rs 40,000 crore credit given by a consortium of 20 banks, led by the State Bank of India, to the Videocon Group.

The agency had on Sunday also questioned Nayak in Mumbai.

Earlier, the agency had questioned Rajiv Kochhar for five consecutive days. He was on Thursday stopped at Mumbai airport by immigration authorities when he was about to leave for Singapore. Later, he was handed over to the CBI which questioned him as part of its preliminary probe against his brother Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot.

The agency had registered a preliminary inquiry against Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group officials and others to determine any wrongdoing or otherwise in the sanction of loan to the Group by the ICICI Bank as part of the consortium of banks in 2012.

Chanda Kochhar, who is facing questions of conflict of interest in the case, has not been named in the preliminary inquiry, which was registered after news reports raised questions about the Videocon Chairman giving loan of Rs 64 crore to a firm he had jointly promoted with Deepak Kochhar, six months after his group got the Rs 3,250 crore loan. 

Sources said Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot could also be called for questioning after examination of documents of the loan and statements.

 

IANS

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