The Central Bureau of Investigation had decided to close the preliminary enquiry (PE) against former ICICI Bank(NSE -0.03 % )CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar for want of evidence just weeks before it filed a case against the duo and Videocon group managing director Venugopal Dhoot last week for cheating and conspiracy.
It has been learnt that deputy inspector general Jasbir Singh and superintendent of police Sudhanshu Mishra, who were part of the probe team, had upheld the investigating officer DJ Bajpei’s initial recommendation made in December 2018 that there was scant evidence against the Kochhars. However, the acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao overturned the initial recommendation and gave the go-ahead for registering a first information report (FIR) in the case pertaining to “dishonestly sanctioning loans to the Videocon group” in 2012. A day later, the team probing the matter was changed, said people aware of the matter.
These developments happened two days before Union minister Arun Jaitley lashed out at the CBI on Friday last week for hastily naming top bankers in the FIR and asked the agency to make a distinction between “adventurism and professional investigation’’. While Singh – who had been given additional responsibility of the Bank Security and Frauds Cell (BS&FC) unit, where the PE was lodged – was told to relinquish his responsibility, Mishra was transferred to the Ranchi Economic Offences Wing.
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