ICICI-Videocon case: CBI quizzes director of NuPower Renewables

NEW DELHI, Apr 8: The CBI today questioned Umanath Vaikunt Nayak, a director in the NuPower Renewables, founded by Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, in connection with the bank’s Rs 3,250-crore loan to the Videocon group in 2012, officials said.

This is the first questioning of a senior executive of NuPower Renewables even as the agency continued the examination of Rajiv Kochhar, a brother of Deepak Kochhar, and Mahesh Chandra Punglia, considered a close aide of Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, they said.

Punglia was also a Director in the NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd, they said. All three were called at the agency’s office in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.

The deal recently made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Dhoot allegedly had with the NuPower Renewables.

The CBI has registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Dhoot and Deepak Kocchar and unidentified others, they said.

A PE is the first step by the CBI to gather information about the allegations. If the agency is convinced there exists prima facie material in the matter, it may register a regular case against the accused.

Last week, the ICICI Bank board came out in support of Chanda Kochhar, saying it had full faith and confidence in her and described certain reports against her regarding credit disbursement to the Videocon Group as “malicious and unfounded rumours”. (PTI)