Former ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband arrested by CBI in loan fraud case

New Delhi: The CBI has arrested former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in the loan fraud case. Kochhar is accused of alleged irregularities in loans of over Rs 3,000 crore provided to the Videocon group when she was heading ICICI Bank, a big private sector player.

As per the allegations in the case, crores were allegedly invested by former Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot in NuPower Renewables, a company set up by Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak, months after he was sanctioned a huge loan from ICICI Bank..

The CBI report claims that Chanda Kochhar was a member of the committee that sanctioned the loan for Videocon and that the bank chief abused her official position and “coaxed Dhoot through her husband to sanction Rs 300 crore to Videocon”. Received illegal gratification/undue benefit.”

Chanda Kochhar is the former Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank, which became a large private sector bank under her leadership. She is currently facing allegations of favoring the Videocon group in giving loans in lieu of financial assistance to her husband’s business.

The CBI on Friday arrested Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in a loan-related case.

A management graduate by qualification, Kochhar played an integral role during the 1990s in setting up ICICI Bank, which is now one of India’s largest private sector banks. In 1993, Kochhar was included in the committee responsible for setting up the bank. He was then promoted as Assistant General Manager (AGM) in 1994 and then as Deputy General Manager (DGM) in 1996.

In 1996, Kochhar headed the newly formed Infrastructure Industry Group of ICICI Bank, which aimed to create dedicated industry expertise in the areas of power, telecommunications and transportation.

Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI Bank built up the nascent retail business in 2000, primarily focusing on technology, innovation, process engineering and expansion of distribution and scale. In April 2001, he took over as Executive Director.

Kochhar was later appointed as the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank. In 2006–07, Kochhar handled the international and corporate businesses of the bank. From 2007 to 2009, she was the chief financial officer (CFO) and joint managing director of the bank.

Due to a conflict of interest case, she resigned from her position in 2018 and was subsequently fired by ICICI Bank – a decision that was later upheld by the Supreme Court of India. Kochhar is facing money laundering charges and was arrested by the CBI.

Chanda Kochhar has consistently featured in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” list since 2005. She also made it to Forbes’ list of the “100 Most Powerful Women in the World” in 2009, where she was ranked at number 20. Kochhar was also featured in “50”. The Most Influential People in Global Finance” list by Bloomberg Markets.

In addition, Kochhar is a member of the India-Russia Business Leaders Forum and the US India CEO Forum and was also the chairman of the International Monetary Conference.