Case BriefsDistrict Court

Sessions Court, Greater Bombay: Abhijeet A. Nandgaonkar, Additional Sessions Judge, issued summons, being of the prima facie opinion that Chanda Kochhar, Former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank may have misused her official position in sanctioning loans to Videocon Group and got illegal gratification through her husband.

FACTUAL MATRIX

Accused 1 was the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, whereas accused 2 is the husband of accused 1.

During June, 2019 to October, 2011 ICICI Bank sanctioned six high-value loans to various companies of Videocon Group in the tune of Rs 300 crores which was in contravention of the rules and policy of sanctioning committee. On the very next day of when the said amount of Rs 300 crores was disbursed, an amount of Rs 64 crores was transferred by the accused V.N. Dhoot to NRPL managed by accused Deepak Kochhar through his company SEPL.

Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification/undue benefit through her husband.

ICICI Bank sanctioned various loans to Videocon Group of Companies. However, the said loans were turned NPA resulting in wrongful loss to ICICI Bank and wrongful gain to the borrowers and accused persons.

After Chanda Kochhar took over the charge of ICICI Bank as MD and CEO, all the credit facilities as stated above, sanctioned to Videocon group of companies.

The said loans were sanctioned by the different sanctioning committees and Chanda Kochhar was one of the Committee member which sanctioned RTL of Rs 300 crores to VIEL and Rs 750 crores to VIL.

Hence, total misappropriation/loss caused was of Rs 1,730.

Enforcement Directorate

After initiation of investigation, all the accused persons were arrested and it was found that Deepak Kochhar ( accused 2) had a close acquaintance and relationship with V.N. Dhoot, Chairman and Managing Director of Videocon Industries Ltd.

Accused 1 Chanda Kochhar had neither disclosed the above fact nor recused herself from sanctioning committee of ICICI bank while sanctioning loan to VIL or VIEL.

Day after the sanctioning of loan to VIEL Rs 64 crores was transferred to NRPL, owned and managed by accused Deepak Kochhar. The said was illegal gratification to accused Chanda Kochhar, through accused Deepak Kochhar by abusing her position as MD and CEO of ICICI Banking sanctioning the loan.

The said proceeds of crime Rs 64 crores transferred to NRPL through a web of companies was used to purchase properties.

Decision

Bench in view of the facts and circumstances of the case, opined that it appears that accused Chanda Kochhar misused her official position in granting the loan to accused V.N. Dhoot and/or Videocon Group Companies and got illegal gratification/undue advantage through her husband accused Deepak Kochhar, per se quid pro quo web-transactions, created by the accused persons through various companies for siphoning off money and proceeds of crime.

Hence, the above-stated constituted the commission of schedule offence, which gave rise to register the offence under Section 3 read with Section 70 punishable under Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Order

Process to be issued against the accused nos. 1 to 11, accused 2 who is in custody be served upon summons. ED granted leave to continue with the ongoing investigation and to take action as per law.[Directorate of Enforcement v. Chanda Kochhar, PMLA Special Case No. 915 of 2020, decided on 30-01-2021]


Image Credits [Chandra Kochhar]: Business Standard

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, DInesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, JJ has refused to interfere with the termination of Chanda Kochhar as the Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank. The bench said,

“We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order for the reason that the only controversy in these proceedings is whether the resignation of the petitioner having earlier been accepted and thereafter her services been terminated, the latter could take place or not. This would fall within the realm of contractual relationship between the petitioner and the private bank.”

Chanda Kochhar, the Ex- Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank, was terminated from her service and same was approved by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). ICICI, in its meeting held on 29 May 2018, constituted an enquiry by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India. In June 2018 the Petitioner informed ICICI that Petitioner would go on leave till the enquiry is completed. By letter dated 3 October 2018, the Petitioner sought early retirement. ICICI, by the communication dated 4 October 2018 accepted the request for early retirement subject to certain conditions. On 27 January 2019, the report of the enquiry was submitted. The report was adverse to the Petitioner. In the meeting held on 30 January 2019, the Board of the ICICI treated the separation of the Petitioner’s service as a Termination for Cause. A communication to that effect was issued to the Petitioner. By further communication dated 1 February 2019, ICICI revoked the retirement benefits of the Petitioner. Correspondence ensued between the parties. The Petitioner called upon the ICICI to restore to the Petitioner the existing and future entitlements, including unpaid amounts, stock options, medical benefits. ICICI refused the request.

On 05.03.2020, the Bombay High Court had, in Chanda Deepak Kochhar v. ICICI Bank Ltd., 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 374, refused to interfere with Kochhar’s termination and had said,

“… merely because the approval under Section 35B(1)(b) is questioned, that cannot infuse a public law element in this dispute, which remains a contractual dispute. For the contractual remedies, the Petitioner will have to approach the appropriate forum and not writ jurisdiction.”

[Chandra Deepak Kochhar v. ICICI Bank Ltd., 2020 SCC OnLine SC 969, order dated 01.12.2020]


For Petitioner: Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi

For Respondent: Senior Advocate  Darius Khambata

 

Business NewsNews

As reported by media, the board of ICICI Bank had appointed Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Srikrishna to investigate in regard to the allegations placed against Kochhar. The investigation concluded with Justice Srikrishna finding Kocchar guilty of violating the lender’s code of conduct.

On 30-01-2019, the board of ICICI Bank released a statement stating that, “After due deliberations, the Board of Directors decided to treat the separation of Ms Chanda Kochhar from the Bank as a ‘Termination for Cause’ under the Bank’s internal policies, schemes and the Code of Conduct, with all attendant consequences (including revocation of all her existing and future entitlements such as any unpaid amounts, unpaid bonuses or increments, unvested and vested & unexercised stock options, and medical benefits), and require the clawback of all bonuses paid from April 2009 until March 2018, and to take such further actions as may be warranted in the matter.”

[Source: Indianexpress.com]