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I-T department questions Venugopal Dhoot in ICICI-Videocon loan case

Press Trust of India/Mumbai/New Delhi 16 May 18 | 12:59 AM

Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot

The Income Tax Department (ITD) on Tuesday questioned Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot in connection with its tax evasion probe linked to the Videocon-ICICI bank loan case, officials said.

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They said Dhoot appeared before the designated probe officer at the IT department office in Mumbai after he was issued summons to join the investigation.

He was questioned for about four hours, they said.

The case pertains to a possible and alleged tax evasion angle in the ICICI bank issuing a Rs 32.5 billion loan to the Videocon Group in 2012.

The department had earlier questioned Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, in the case.

Last week, it had also conducted searches at multiple locations linked to Nishant Kanodia, son-in-law of Essar group co-founder Ravi Ruia, in this case to probe the flow of funds through his Mauritius-based company into the firm of Deepak Kochhar.

The ITD is investigating the flow of about Rs 3.25 billion from two Mauritius-based firms -- First Land Holding Limited and DH Renewables Holding Limited -- to Kochhar's company NuPower Renewables Private Ltd.

The taxman is also analysing the nature of activities of NuPower Renewables between 2010-11 and 2015-16 as part of the probe.

The CBI is conducting a preliminary enquiry in this loan case and has named Deepak Kochhar in it.

The CBI probe aims to find out if there was any quid pro quo involved in the bank issuing a Rs 32.5 billion loan to the Videocon Group in 2012.

The deal had made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochchar.

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