In another blow to Chanda Kochhar, former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday provisionally attached assets worth Rs 78 crore belonging to her in connection with the Videocon bank loan case.
Kochhar’s shares have also been provisionally attached by the ED along with her Mumbai apartment. Her husband Deepak Kochhar’s business properties too have been attached by the ED.
It was earlier reported that the ED was planning to provisionally attach some properties of Chanda and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
The ED order will be valid for 180 days of the attachment being issued till a court confirms that the properties were made out of the proceeds of money laundering, which will enable the ED to go in for a final confiscation.
Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the ED had registered a criminal case in 2019 against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Group and others to probe alleged regularities in sanctioning Rs 3,250 crore loans by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group.
Earlier, in December, 2019, the RBI, through its counsel, had raised objections to the Bombay High Court accepting the writ petition filed by Chanda Kochhar.
Chanda Kochhar had resigned from her post in October 2018 following reports that she had sanctioned loans to the Videocon group which ultimately benefitted her husband Deepak. These loans were alleged to have been sanctioned out of turn. Months after she voluntarily resigned and her resignation was accepted and she was relieved from the Bank, she was issued a notice of termination of her service on January 30, 2019. This also meant she was deprived of several benefits which she was otherwise entitled to, including her remuneration, and more importantly some of the bonuses and stock options she had been granted for the period April 2009 to March 2018.
Kochhar had challenged her removal from ICICI Bank which was given the go-ahead by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI, in an affidavit, justified its decision to remove Kochhar from ICICI Bank, stating its decision to give approval to the bank to remove Kochhar from the position of MD & CEO was fair and not arbitrary.
Kochhar had filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against this order of the RBI terminating her service.