Chanda Kochhar traceless, CBI issues lookout notice against her and others




New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) issued lookout notices against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group managing director Venugopal Dhoot, officials said in New Delhi Friday. A case was registered against Chanda Kocchar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot a week back.

The move is to ensure that none of the accused in the case related to alleged corruption in clearing loans worth ₹1,875 crore to the Videocon Group were able to leave the country, the officials said. No summons have so far been issued against Chanda Kochhar to record her statement, they added.

A lookout notice is an intimation to immigration authorities at all the ports of exit to intimate the investigation agency in case the accused tries to leave the country.

The immigration authorities may also detain the person if requested by the agency.

CBI cut a sorry figure after its dilution of lookout circular against liquor baron Vijay Mallya led to his escape to the UK in 2016. Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are also abroad tricking the government machinery.

It is alleged that during Chanda Kochhar’s tenure as ICICI Bank CEO, six loans worth ₹1,875 crore were cleared for the Videocon Group and its associated companies. She was on the sanctioning committees for two of these loans.

In its first investigation report filed in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, CBI has also named several top honchos of the banking industry, including ICICI Bank CEO Sandeep Bakhshi, alleging that they were also members of the sanctioning committees and their role needs to be investigated.

Chanda Kochhar was on the sanctioning committee deciding two loans: ₹300 crore to Videocon International Electronics on 26 August 2009 and ₹750 crore to Videocon Industries Ltd on 31 October 2011, the FIR says.

The loans were issued in the alleged violation of laid down policies and regulations of the bank. Most of these loans became non-performing assets over the course, causing a loss of ₹1,730 crore to the bank.