A fixed line telephone and a calculator sit next to a pair of spectacles. (Photographer Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Taxman Gives Deepak Kocchar More Time To Respond To Queries

The income tax department has given more time to Deepak Kochhar and his firm NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd. to respond to its notice, a government official told reporters.

The department had issued a notice to NuPower Renewables under Section 131 of Income Tax Act, 1961 to seek information on the investments the company received from Mauritius. The section allows tax authorities to conduct inquiries and summon assessees.

The Deepak Kochhar controlled firm did not respond to queries related to directors of DH Renewables Holdings – one of the investors in the company – nor did it respond to how the valuations of shares of NuPower Renewables Holdings was arrived at when DH Renewables invested in the company, the official quoted above said.

Besides DH Renewables Holdings, the department is also investigating investments made by First Land Holdings in NuPower Renewables.

Deepak Kochhar is also being probed by Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with investments made by Videocon Industries chairman Venugopal Dhoot in a company controlled by him. The allegation is that that Videocon Industries, which has now turned into a non performing asset, received loans worth Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank, in return for investments made in NuPower Renewables. There was some possible quid pro quo in the grant of loans to the group, a whistleblower letter had alleged.

The lender’s Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar is Deepak Kochhar's wife. ICICI Bank’s board has denied any such allegations but the Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the matter.

The Economic Times newspaper had earlier reported that Kochhar's company has sought more time to explain its Mauritius connections, after failing to meet the April 10 deadline.