The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has dismissed the bail plea of Anand Subramanian, the former Group Operating Officer (GOO) of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and ex-advisor to the former MD of NSE Chitra Ramkrishna, in the alleged stock manipulation case.
Special judge Sanjeev Aggarwal passed the order after hearing the counsels for the CBI and Subramanian, presently in judicial custody. The former advisor to Subramanian was arrested by the CBI on February 24 and was remanded to custodial interrogation. He was sent to 14-day JC on March 14.
Justice Aggarwal said while dismissing Subramanian’s bail plea that the CBI is “in process of removing secret veil to show the true face of the ‘Himalayan yogi’ who seems as elusive as anecdotal Himalayan yeti.”
He added, “Further the prosecution at this stage of investigation is stated to be working on disjoint scattered dots, from which it has to conjure a final picture in the shape of a charge sheet. The investigations which are at the initial stage will crystalise into concrete form only after filing of the charge sheet.”
His lawyer stated that Subramanian should be released since he was named in the FIR and he had no role in the co-location scam. Subramanian's counsel also denied the allegation that he was the "Himalayan yogi" who purportedly influenced Ramkrishna's decision making.
Ramkrishna, who took the reins as the NSE boss in 2013 and left the bourse in 2016, had appointed Subramanian as her advisor. He was later elevated to the designation of Group Operating Officer (GOO).
The CBI, which expanded the probe into the co-location case after the SEBI report indicting Ramkrishna and Subramanian came out in public, arrested both of them earlier this year. The central agency then told the court that a ‘Himalayan’ yogi, understood to be Subramanian, guided Ramkrishna.
The CBI is focusing on retrieving email conversations between Ramkrishna and Subramanian. According to the agency, email@example.com is the email address that Subramanian was allegedly using to guide Ramkrishna.
It was during Ramkrishna’s tenure that the co-location scam was started in the NSE, according to the CBI.
Using the co-location facility, brokers could place their servers within the stock exchange premises giving them faster access to the markets. It is alleged that some brokers abused the NSE algorithm and the co-location facility to make windfall profits in connivance with insiders.
Meanwhile, an RTI activist Subhash Agrawal has sought information regarding the inspection reports of the functioning of the NSE since 2013, when Ramkrishna took over as the chief. Using the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Agarwal sought copies of the complete inspection reports from the capital markets regulator SEBI.
Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “With RBI being the regulatory body in respect of banks, SEBI being regulatory public authority in respect of the NSE is bound to provide inspection reports in respect of the NSE under provisions of the RTI Act. I had also requested for web-link, if any, having such information, and file-notings on movement of this RTI application.”
Responding to the RTI, SEBI, however, refused to disclose its copies of the complete inspection reports related to the functioning of the NSE. Citing the Section 8(1) (d) of the RTI Act, the capital markets regulator said that the information sought by the activist includes commercial confidential information of other entities, the disclosure of which could harm its competitive position.
(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur, agencies)
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