The controversy surrounding the Videocon loan case is proving very costly for the former chief executive and managing director of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar.
After the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation filed a first information report against her and her husband Deepak Kochhar, an internal committee constituted by ICICI Bank has found that she violated the bank’s code of conduct in the Videocon loan case, Business Standard reports.
After the internal probe committee, headed by former Supreme Court justice B N Srikrishna, submitted its report, the ICICI Bank board decided to treat her earlier resignation as a “termination for cause” and take back all bonuses given to her between April 2009 and March 2018, and revoke all benefits and stock options.
The bank accused Chanda Kochhar of not effectively dealing with the conflict-of-interest and due-disclosure or recusal requirements while deciding on loans given to the Videocon Group, where her relatives had a close business interest, the daily said.
She may have to return 98.2 million rupees (US$1.38 million) in bonuses she received as CEO, and may have to give up close to 6 million shares of the bank that she had as stock options.
The committee investigated her role since April 2009, when she was named CEO, to March 2018. It was assisted by a law firm and a forensic and investigative services company.
The probe committee was formed last year after a whistleblower complaint of quid pro quo in the Videocon loan case. The whistleblower alleged that Chanda Kochhar influenced the sanctioning of a loan of 32.50 billion rupees ($457.28 million) to Videocon International Electronics Ltd in return for a deal in NuPower Renewables and Supreme Energy, a clean-energy firm run by her husband Deepak Kochhar.
Videocon chairman and managing director Venugopal Dhoot had transferred a total of 640 million rupees to NuPower after he got the ICICI Bank loan.
Chanda Kochhar went on leave last June after the bank constituted the inquiry committee, and then resigned in October.
She expressed disappointment over the bank’s decision, saying none of the credit decisions at the bank were unilateral. She added that they followed established processes and systems that involved committee-based collective decision-making, Press Trust of India reports.