ICICI does not say yes for independent probe

India's largest private sector bank does not agree to an independent probe into allegations of nepotism against its chief executive. ICICI Bank refuted allegations that a loan was given to the Videocon group due to its business dealing with chief executive Chanda Kochhar's husband. Whistleblower Arvind Gupta has demanded a forensic audit. However, the bank has ruled out hiring external agencies to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of nepotism. 

The Videocon loan issue was first raised by whistleblower Gupta in 2016 when he wrote about it on a blog. Gupta claimed ICICI Bank granted a Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon Industries in 2012 mainly due to the business relations between Deepak Kochhar and the Videocon Group. The Videocon loan had later turned a non-performing asset. 

Gupta alleged that a company owned by Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot loaned Rs 64 crore in March 2010 to NuPower Renewables. Some deals later resulted in a trust controlled by Deepak Kochhar acquiring the lending company six months after the Videocon Group got the loan from ICICI Bank. The transfer of company shares to Kochhar’s trust was made at a paltry Rs 9 lakh. 

A company that loaned an amount as big as Rs 64 crore, was acquired by the trust Deepak Kochchar controlled for as small an amount as Rs 9 lakh. This raised the whistleblower's eyebrow. 



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