MUMBAI: Shareholder activist Arvind Gupta on Friday levelled fresh allegations against ICICI Bank CEO & MD Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak and Essar Group, which allegedly round-tripped Rs 453 crore via entities based in Mauritius.
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, regulators and ministries, Gupta accused Deepak of ‘quid pro quo arrangement of cash for debt in his firm NuPower Group’.
“Therefore, the abuse of position and banking authority by Chanda Kochhar and her associates – defined as public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act – deserves appropriate investigation,” he wrote. The latest missive comes after the ICICI-Videocon incident, which is currently under the CBI scanner.
The letter says NuPower received round-tripped investments from Essar Group through Mauritius-based Matix Group and Firstland Holdings owned by Nishant Kanodia, son-in-law of Essar’s Ravi Ruia.
NuPower Renewables, the letter said, was funded by Firstland Holdings by subscribing to compulsorily convertible preference (CCPS) shares between December 2010 and March 2012 in four transactions. Subsequently, Matix exited from NuPower profitably divesting their investment in favour of yet another Mauritius-based foreign investor — DH Renewable Power Holdings, which besides acquiring Firsthand Holdings’ equity for Rs 325 crore, invested an additional Rs 128 crore subscribing to CCPS — aggregating Rs 453 crore. “Matix Group has been the proxy investor for Essar in making quid pro quo investments in NuPower Renewables,” Gupta wrote.
Both ICICI Bank and Essar Group refuted the allegations. An Essar group spokesperson said, “Essar does not have any business interest in Firstland Holdings.”
Kochhar is on annual leave: Bank
ICICI Bank said on Friday that Chanda Kochhar is on her annual leave, which was “planned in advance”. She is likely to rejoin work in a couple of weeks