Deepak Kochhar’s NuPower Renewables Gets Taxman’s Notice In Videocon Loan Case
The Income Tax Department today issued a notice to Deepak Kochhar-led NuPower Renewables in connection with its tax evasion probe in the Videocon loan case.
The notice has been issued to the firm, run by the husband of ICICI Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar, under Section 131 (Power Regarding Discovery, Production of Evidence) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, an income tax official told BloombergQuint. Deepak Kochhar has been asked to furnish details of his personal finances, income tax returns for the last few years and business transactions with the firm, the official added.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is already conducting an initial enquiry into the dealings between Deepak Kochhar, the Videocon group and “unknown others”, an official from the investigative agency had said earlier. However, the CBI is not looking into Chanda Kochhar’s involvement in the case currently, the official added. The investigation is underway to check if loans worth Rs 3,250 crore given to Videocon group by ICICI Bank, was in lieu for transactions between the group and NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd., a company which was jointly promoted by Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar.
Last week, the board of ICICI Bank expressed its "full faith" in Chanda Kochhar and rejected any question of conflict of interest or nepotism or quid pro quo in sanctioning of loans to the debt-laden group. The bank’s Chairman MK Sharma said that Kochhar made all the necessary disclosures but did not specify what disclosures were made in the press conference.
Earlier,The Indian Express published an investigation highlighting the financial dealings between the entities related to Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar.
The transactions, however, were first highlighted by investor Arvind Gupta in 2016. Gupta wrote to the Prime Minister, the Reserve Bank of India governor and other authorities seeking an inquiry into the dealings. Gupta’s complaint got little or no attention then.