From a trainee to a chief executive officer and managing director and a Padma Bhushan and then entangled in a controversies and corruption cases, Chanda Kochhar's rise and fall have never failed to make the headlines.
After leading ICIC Bank for almost ten years, Chanda Kochhar resigned from the position of managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) on Thursday.
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Kochhar was a part of erstwhile ICICI Limited since 1984, when she joined as a management trainee.
From a management trainee to CEO and MD and a Padma Bhushan and then entangled in a controversies and corruption cases, Kochhar's rise and fall have never failed to make the headlines.
Known to be a veteran banker, her reputation came at stake, when she and her family faced allegations of quid pro quo and conflict of interest with respect to a loan extended to the Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot.
According to Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) preliminary investigations, Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar has had many business dealings with Videocon Group over the last several years.
Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot were co-founders and promoters of NuPower Renewables, besides other associations.
On September 18, Sebi said ICICI Bank has expressed "intent informally" for consent plea to settle allegations against Chanda Kochhar related to lapses in corporate governance in the Videocon case.
Sebi had earlier issued a show cause notice to ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar and others after a preliminary probe showed alleged violations of listing disclosure norms.
The preliminary probe found Kochhar’s husband having several business dealings with Videocon Group for many years. ICICI Bank has replied to the show cause notice.
Kochhar is believed to have maintained that she had no information about her husband’s business dealings; the bank has given similar replies.
The news broke out in March and the bank had been in complete support of their boss.
“The board has come to the conclusion that there is no question of any quid pro quo/nepotism/conflict of interest as is being alleged in various rumours,” the bank said, terming them as “malicious and unfounded” in the March exchange filing.
Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar, set up Videocon Group in December 2008.
Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot were alleged to have been connected with the ICICI Bank, granting a loan worth Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon. Out of this, Rs 2,810 crore were unpaid and declared non-performing asset (NPA) in 2017.
The ICICI Bank loan amount was a part of the Rs 40,000 crore-loan that Videocon secured from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: IST