Ex-chief of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband arrested by CBI

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar were arrested by the CBI on Friday as part of its investigation into a money laundering case involving the bank and the Videocon Group. 

Ms Kochhar, 59, had allegedly favoured the Videocon Group, a consumer electronics and oil and gas exploration company, in the bank’s lending policies. This had led to her resignation as CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank in October 2018. 

She has been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI for suspected irregularities in a loan of Rs 3,250 crore made to the Videocon Group in 2012 that turned into a non-performing asset for the ICICI Bank. 

According to a whistleblower, the transactions benefited Ms Kochhar and her family members. 

In 2019, ICICI had declared that it would classify Ms Kochhar’s departure as “termination for cause” because she had broken the bank’s code of conduct and internal standards. 

Ms Kochhar, who had spent more than three decades working for India’s third-largest lender and risen up the ranks to become one of the most powerful woman bankers, has denied any wrongdoing. 

“I reiterate that none of the credit decisions at the bank are (sic) unilateral ... the organisation design and structure obviate the possibility of conflict of interest,” she had said in a statement.

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