The former ICICI Bank chairperson Chanda Kochhar, the glamour girl of Indian Banking is now facing her worst phase of life. She was one of the main poster girls of women empowerment in India’s Corporate and Banking sectors, though we (collectively the media) kept silent despite the knowledge that she was propped up by her mentor and former ICICI Bank Chairman K V Kamath, who sidelined many a worthy candidate and picked her to succeed him. Placing his protégé Chanda allowed Kamath to run the bank via remote control. The 58-year-old Chanda Kochhar committed fraud and accepting bribes through her husband Deepak Kochhar for giving loans to the debt-ridden Videocon Group in 2012. But her frauds went undetected for a long time.
After four years, in March 2016, Arvind Gupta, a well-known litigator who runs an organization for protection for small investors first filed a complaint against Chanda Kochhar. In his detailed complaint, he described how Chanda’s husband Deepak got around 10% from Videocon Group for getting loans from ICICI Bank and diverted the money to his company NuPower, a company engaged in windmills and power generation. Arvind Gupta filed his eight-page detailed complaint to all agencies like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) and even to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2016. He further published this complaint in his blog and even in an industry lobbying magazine. Unfortunately, no one noticed it. What happened to the specific crystal complaint by Arvind Gupta? The answer is: Nothing. Why?
Because Chanda Kochhar has two powerful mentors. Who are they? They are the former Finance Ministers of India. One is the late Arun Jaitley and his good friend, the corrupt, crooked P Chidambaram. Till March 2018, the petitioner Arvind Gupta was knocking on all doors including all the media houses and editors with a copy of his detailed complaint. No one dared to publish this big scam by the lady banking head as her ICICI Bank was one of the biggest advertisers in Media. Moreover, Chanda Kochhar was so benevolent to all media houses and their owners in throwing bones to barking dogs.
Several media houses and owners got soft loans from the ICICI Bank. We at PGurus reported the banking loan fraud of NDTV’s owner Prannoy Roy, who used the ICICI Bank loan to his shell firm, misusing the name of the public limited listed firm NDTV and using around Rs.45 crores to buy a palatial home in South Africa. There were allegations that some in the media extracted money for not publishing this complaint and enjoying benevolence from the concerned persons.
For two years nothing was happening on Arvind Gupta’s complaint against Chanda Kochhar and family and Videocon Group. In the third week of March 2018, a whistleblower officer alerted the research team of PGurus about the hard-hitting petition, kept in the deep freezers of the agencies even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed to probe. We at PGurus in no time published the explosive report about this and the full complaint on March 25, 2018. The next day, ICICI Bank, in a panic, issued a press release about the issue and after this only ‘Indian Express’ newspaper took it forward. Then the other media jumped on the bandwagon and within weeks Chanda Kochhar resigned to save her skin.
Prime Minister Modi then ordered the agencies to probe, but the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley put a kibosh on it. Then CBI registered a case and the ED jumped on and two days back (Jan 10) attached the assets of Chanda Kochhar and her husband’s firms worth Rs.600 crores (book value of Rs.75 crores).
Chanda and husband Deepak, and the Videocon Group promoters were shuttling to different agencies from CBI to ED to SFIO to Income Tax after Modi’s Order. But Jaitley was playing all kinds of tricks to delay the probe. When the then FM rushed to the United States for Cancer treatment in January 2019 the CBI registered a First Information Report (FIR) in the case. From the United States, ignoring that he is a minister (he had pontificated once that leaders should be disciplined!), Jaitley tweeted against the CBI!. We at PGurus blasted Jaitley for this unholy action – I myself wrote an article blasting Jaitley for this uncouth activity. With Prime Minister’s solid backing, the agencies ignored the tantrums thrown by the Finance Minister and went ahead.
Now Chanda Kochhar is paying for her sins. Let the law take its own course of action. No one is above law. I hope this episode will be a lesson for the next-generation, who will be entering the Corporate World, Banking or any public service.
 ED attaches the assets of Chanda Kochhar and her husband’s assets worth 600 crores – Jan 10, 2020, PGurus.com
 Why is Jaitley throwing tantrums at CBI for fixing Chanda Kochhar and other ICICI Bank officers? Jan 26, 2019, PGurus.com
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