ICICI Bank’s former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar has yet again distanced herself from husband Deepak Kochhar’s business dealings. In the third round of questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its Mumbai office on March 4, Chanda denied having any knowledge of loans allegedly routed to her husband’s company NuPower Renewables that had dealings with Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot.
Chanda has maintained the same statement is her questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
This is the third consecutive day that the Kochhars were summoned by the ED following raids on February 28.
Along with Chanda, Nishant Kanodia was called for the second round of questioning on March 4. Kanodia is son-in-law of Ravi Ruia, Promoter of Essar Group.
A source close to development told Moneycontrol, “Nishant Kanodia was questioned until 6 am on Monday from Sunday afternoon. He was called again at 1 pm. The Enforcement Directorate was looking at the source of the funding received by Deepak Kochhar from their [Kanodia’s] Mauritius-based company.”
Following the interrogation, Chanda left the ED office at 10 pm.
In 2010, NuPower received Rs 325 crore from Firstland Holdings, a Mauritius-based firm owned by Kanodia. The deal is under the scanner as ICICI Bank had granted loans to Essar Steel Minnesota LLC worth $530 million in 2010.
Another source told Moneycontrol that the ED confronted Deepak, Mahesh Pungalia and Dhoot in pairs to get a clear picture of the investments in NuPower Renewables by Videocon Group.
The ED searched the residences and offices of the Kochhars and Dhoot over the alleged quid pro quo arrangement over loans sanctioned to Videocon Group when Chanda was at the helm of ICICI Bank.