PNB scam: SFIO summons ICICI chief Chanda Kochhar for questioning

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According to industry sources, ICICI Bank was the lead bank in a consortium that advanced over Rs 5,000 crore as working capital loans to Gitanjali Gems. Nirav Modi firms Stellar Diamond and Solar Exports and Diamonds have together borrowed close to Rs 4,000 crore from banks.

However, NDTV quoting sources said that the senior officials are only being questioned for clarifications and not as accused in the fraud case.

Both the lenders replied late in the evening, saying the SFIO action will not have any material impact on them. The National Company Law Tribunal has also allowed the government to attach 64 properties belonging to individuals as well as companies that are part of groups headed by Modi and Choksi to prevent the accused from alienating as well as creating any third-party interest in any of the properties.

An LoU is a guarantee which is given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches overseas to grant short-term credit to the applicant. "Our presentation to the Gitanjali gathering of organizations isn't the biggest among moneylenders in the consortium", the bank had stated, including that it was "completely co-working with the researching offices in their endeavors". As per PTI, V Srinivasan, Deputy Managing Director of Axis Bank was seen coming out of the SFIO office in Mumbai on Tuesday.

He said Chitalia was taken away from the Mumbai airport by the CBI, soon after he landed in the city from Bangkok.

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SFIO is understood to have also called officials from other banks including ICICI Bank, they said.

Meanwhile, the CBI has detained Vipul Chitalia, the Vice President of Gitanjali Group of Companies as a part of the probe into the case. "The bank will submit all the required documents to the authorities", said an Axis Bank official.

The fraud was allegedly perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

This is separate from the Rs12,636 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud investigation, which involved fake letters of undertaking, he added.