CBI officer investigating Chanda Kochhar case transferred over suspicion of leaking information

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2019 11:44 hrs
Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank (PTI image)

New Delhi: A CBI officer, part of a probe into the ICICI Bank loan case, has been transferred out, with top officials claiming that he was suspected of leaking information to the accused.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on January 24 booked former CEO and MD of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon MD ... Dhoot and few others for criminal conspiracy in an alleged loan fraud case.

“The transfer is part of the cleanup operations in the agency,” top sources in the CBI said.

“It is suspected that there was a case of leaking critical information related to the case to parties related to it and the FIR (in ICICI case) was also registered after a long delay,” the top CBI sources alleged.

The case has been under investigation for more than a year now and the FIR was also registered only when the senior officials inquired about it, the sources said.

The sources in the CBI said the ICICI case is one of the very important cases that has been pending without progress.

The preliminary enquiry (PE) was registered earlier in this case after review sometimes ago the PE was pleaded up and converted into the regular case (RC).

The sources said the role of the officer Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra and other persons, if any, in keeping the case pending is also been looked into.

On January 22, a case was registered and immediately after RC searches were a purpose to be conducted very soon. However, it was suspected there were possibilities of information about searches being leaked. Therefore discreet inquiry was conducted and the role was SP (IO) Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra was strongly suspected.

Chanda Kochhar Kochhar had quit the ICICI on October 4 last year in the wake of allegations that she had favoured Videocon in the lending processes because the consumer electronics company's founders had invested in a company founded by her husband Deepak Kochhar.

The CBI filed cases against the three along with some others after conducting raids at four premises in Maharashtra, the investigating agency said.

The preliminary enquiry allegedly showed that from June 2009 to October 2011, ICICI Bank had sanctioned 6 high-value loans to various Videocon Group companies, CBI sources said.

Chanda Kochhar had taken over the post of the Managing Director of the ICICI Bank on May 1, 2009.

The companies M/S Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL) and M/S Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) have also been named under the case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation

It is alleged that SEPL was initially incorporated by Dhoot and his associate Vasant Kakade and the ownership of the company was later transferred to Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar by selling the shares of the company to Pinnacle Energy Trust (PET) which was owned by Kochhar.

It was further alleged that Venugopal Dhoot allegedly invested a large amount of funds in Deepak Kochhar-owned Nupower months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012.

The preliminary enquiry conducted by the premier investigators  alleged that offences were committed under section 120-B  read with 420 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 7 and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) on the part of various companies of the Videocon Group owned and promoted by Venugopal Dhoot, MD Videocon.