The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought to broaden the scope of its ongoing investigation into the ICICI Bank-Videocon Group loan sanctioning case on Wednesday. It has proposed to investigate the roles of “unknown public servants” and other individuals while seeking additional custody of the bank’s former CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak and Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot.
The CBI’s remand request for the three arrested also emphasised the aspect of criminal conspiracy. “The accused persons must also be further interrogated in order to unearth criminal conspiracy with other unknown public servants and unknown private persons,” CBI mentioned in its remand application for the Kochhars and Dhoot. The special holiday court extended their custody until Thursday.
The Kochhars were arrested on Friday and Dhoot was arrested on Monday, in connection with the CBI investigation into loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group while Chanda Kochhar was the lender’s MD & CEO.
According to several media reports, Kochhar maintained during her questioning that the loans sanctioned to Videocon entities were the result of ‘collective decisions’ by a committee and that all of the loans under scrutiny were cleared by the committee.
While this leg of the investigation focuses on the six loans sanctioned while Chanda was the MD & CEO, the committee members will be questioned as Chanda has maintained during her questioning that the decision to sanction the loans to Videocon Group was made by the committee and not by her individually, sources say.
Meanwhile, Kochhar has distanced herself from her husband, claiming that he runs an independent business and that she was never privy to or a party to any of Deepak Kochhar’s business decisions.