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Justice Srikrishna report indicts ICICI Bank's ex-chief Chanda Kochhar; bank to recover bonuses, stop retirement benefits

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In a major embarrassment for ICICI Bank, an independent enquiry has indicted former CEO Chanda Kochhar for violating various regulations, and the lender has decided to stop all unpaid retirement benefits and also recover bonuses paid to her since 2009. The leading private sector lender, which had given a clean chit to Kochhar in the Videocon loan matter, will also treat her resignation as 'Termination for Cause'.

In a major embarrassment for ICICI Bank, an independent enquiry has indicted former CEO Chanda Kochhar for violating various regulations, and the lender has decided to stop all unpaid retirement benefits and also recover bonuses paid to her since 2009.
The leading private sector lender, which had given a clean chit to Kochhar in the Videocon loan matter, will also treat her resignation as 'Termination for Cause'.
"The board decided to revoke all her existing and future entitlements such as any unpaid amounts, unpaid bonuses or increments, unvested and vested and unexercised stock options, and medical benefits, and require the clawback of all bonuses paid from April 2009 until March 2018, and to take such further actions as may be warranted in the matter," the bank said.
Chanda Kochhar was in violation of the bank's code of conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations, said Justice (Retd.) BN Srikrishna's report which was submitted on Wednesday.
In June 2018, the audit committee of the bank had instituted an independent enquiry committee, headed by former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna, to probe various allegations against Kochhar, including the Rs 3,250-crore ICICI bank-Videocon loan case.
This clears the decks for the government's investigating agencies -- CBI, ED, IT, SFIO -- and overarching regulatory bodies --RBI, SEBI and Ministry of Corporate Affairs -- to take appropriate action against all the accused in the case filed by CBI last week as they deem fit. It is learnt that the Justice Srikrishna Enquiry Report will be forwarded by the ICICI Board to all the probe agencies and regulators for immediate action.
Kochhar has been accused of criminal conspiracy and cheating by the CBI for alleged irregularities in a loan of Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group.
The allegations have been levelled against Kochhar through media articles, a whistleblower and complaints written by a private individual to senior government officials and regulators.
Last week, the CBI lodged an FIR against 57-year-old Chanda Kochhar, Deepak and Videocon managing director VN Dhoot besides four companies in connection with the controversial loan. As part of a quid pro quo, Dhoot allegedly invested Rs 64 crore in NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd run by her husband, months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012.
The investigative agency had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against  Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others in March last year.
She had stepped down from the post of CEO and MD in October last year after media expose of the loan saga. Her tenure in the Bank was to end this March.
In May 2009, Kochhar was appointed as managing director and CEO for a period of five years and got a reappointment for another five years from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019.
A high profile banker, Kochhar was bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 2011.
With inputs from agencies.

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