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I-T asks ED to share details of its probe against Kochhars

At least four central agencies — the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and CBI, besides the ED and tax department — are probing the Kochhars and Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot, over alleged irregularities in certain loan deals between ICICI Bank and the industrial group when Chanda Kochhar was at the helm of the lender.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 07.31 AM IST
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MUMBAI: The income tax department has written to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seeking details of its investigation into money-laundering allegations against former ICICI Bank managing director Chanda Kochhar and her businessman husband, Deepak.

It made the request after the ED provisionally attached the assets of the couple including a plush South Mumbai residence, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, suspecting these to be proceeds of crime.

“…we want to study their investigation report so as to relook at our case. If there are new facts that are brought forth by the ED in its investigation, then that would become our starting point to reassess them,” said a tax official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

At least four central agencies — the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and CBI, besides the ED and tax department — are probing the Kochhars and Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot, over alleged irregularities in certain loan deals between ICICI Bank and the industrial group when Chanda Kochhar was at the helm of the lender. The agencies, among other issues, are looking at if the South Mumbai house was part of a quid-proquo transaction between Videocon and the Kochhars, as it was allegedly transferred to Deepak Kochhar by a company linked to the Videocon group at a nominal price.

Both Kochhars and Dhoot in the past have denied all the allegations against them.

“The (tax department’s) probe focused on two angles: Either the flat was bought by Videocon using the money they were supposed to pay Kochhars and thus a benami transaction, or the property was sold at less than market rates with the balance being graft. The evidence gathered didn’t indicate that it was a transaction fit under the Benami Act; the graft bit could be probed further by the CBI,” said the official. “However, now with the ED probe treating the house as proceed of crime, this could be revisited.”

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