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Deepak Kochhar modified the company’s books, says ED


New Delhi – Shortly after ICICI Bank Limited launched an internal investigation against its then-Managing Director Chanda Kochhar in August 2016, her husband Deepak Kochhar modified their company’s books to show that Rs 64 million received from Videocon Group was a genuine business transaction and intended to return the money, according to a charge sheet submitted by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).

The charge sheet was filed on November 3 of this year, but these details are just emerging.

According to ED, on August 18, 2016, when ICICI Bank initiated the internal investigation into the accusations against Chanda Kochhar for the improper granting of loans granted to companies affiliated with Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) and its promoter Venugopal Dhoot in exchange for quid pro quo investments in Deepak Kochhar’s NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL) company, “accounting entries were made in the books of Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) to give an appearance of authenticity to the transaction.”

SEPL is also controlled by Deepak Kochhar and was used to transfer the money, which ED believes to be a bribe, in 2009 from Videocon to NRPL, according to ED.

A provision of Rs 32 lakh was created against the ransom premium on the balance sheet for fiscal year 2016-17, to project the proceeds of crime as a genuine transaction and “to project that the SEPL intended to return the funds.”

“… If it had been a genuine transaction between SEPL and VIL, the provisioning would have taken place in 2009. But the provisioning was created (that too from an amount of Rs 32 lakh only) for the first time in fiscal year 2016-17 by SEPL ”According to ED’s charge sheet, which has been reviewed by HT.

ED says that when ICICI Bank sent a press release to the Bombay Stock Exchange on March 28, 2018, putting its weight behind Chanda Kochhar, “having the assurance that ICICI has closed the matter and there is no investigation or pending action, the provision (of Rs 32 lakh) was reversed by SEPL in FY2017-18. ”

According to ED, there was never any intention (by NRPL or SEPL) to refund Rs 64 crore to Videocon, but this change in the account books was part of a conspiracy to revive a broken link to return the funds.

Post-investigation irregularities did not stop there, according to the agency.

The charge sheet says that Real Cleantech Private Ltd (RCPL), a Videocon Group company, through which Rs 64 crore came to NRPL, was allowed a slow death, that is, it was canceled by the Registrar of Companies (RoC ) in 2018 due to non-submission of records.

However, one day after Judge (retd) BN Srikrishna interviewed Deepak Kochhar on January 2, 2019 for the investigation entrusted to him by the ICICI Bank, Dhoot submitted an application to RoC Mumbai for the reactivation of RCPL and subsequently Deepak Kochhar shared the application document with the justice. Srikrishna. ED said that the reactivation of a company canceled by RoC can only be requested from the National Court of Company Law (NCLT).

Only after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Directorate of Enforcement (ED) initiated a formal investigation in January 2019, did Dhoot apply to the NCLT for the reactivation of RCPL in February 2019. The company was finally revived in September 2019. this year. .

Kochhar’s lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, said: “Only the label is different in the complaint filed by the prosecution before the special judge PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act). It is word for word the same one that was presented before the adjudicating authority, in which the video details the order of 800 pages, all his allegations have been considered unfounded. So this old wine in a new bottle is not suitable to drink. ”

Dhoot could not be reached for comment.

In March 2018, the ICICI Bank board gave Chanda Kochhar a clean fine and said there was no question of favoritism, nepotism or conflict of interest on his part when making loans to Videocon or any other company. In October of the same year, he resigned from the bank, with which he had been associated for 34 years. Months later, the bank fired her and decided to treat her resignation as a dismissal, after Srikrishna’s panel found that she violated the bank’s policies and other rules and regulations.

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