The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted statutory bail to former National Stock Exchange (NSE) chief Chitra Ramkrishna and former group operating officer, Anand Subramanian in the co-location scam case that was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said he was granting “statutory bail” to the two former NSE officials in the case, in which an FIR was registered in the case in May 2018 regarding irregularities at the country's largest stock exchange.
What’s the case?
The case is based on allegations that the NSE provided some stock traders were given unfair access to speed up algorithmic trading. As per the charges, both the officers were allegedly engaged in improper dissemination of information from computer servers of market exchanges to stock brokers. Ramkrishna served as the MD and CEO of the NSE from April 2013 to December 2016. The CBI was engaged to probe the case about the suspected corporate governance lapses at the country's biggest bourse.
What are the charges?
As per news reports, the CBI questioned former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna and her then adviser Anand Subramanian and said in its report that Ramkrishna inappropriately used her official position and disproportionately hiked Subramanian's compensation and re-designated him as group operating officer without requisite approvals within the group.
The CBI has said that during Ramkrishna’s tenure (2009-17), both the officers tampered with the telephones of NSE employees and hired iSec Services Pvt Ltd to tap the conversation.
The duo paid a whopping Rs 4.45 crore for the illegal tapping, which they termed as “Periodic Study of Cyber Vulnerabilities” at NSE, as per news reports.
The CBI alleged that the telecom company also gave transcripts of the taped conversations to senior management of the stock market. The four phone lines at NSE were scanned, where on average 120 calls were attended at a time.
While Subramanian was arrested by the CBI on February 24, Ramkrishna was arrested on March 6 this year after her anticipatory bail application was dismissed by a trial court,
What is SEBI’s take?
Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) penalised the NSE, Ramkrishna, former CEO Ravi Narain, and two other officials for lapses in recruitment at the senior level.
The SEBI order stated that Ramkrishna over the years shared confidential NSE data and sought advice from an outsider she described as a Himalayan yogi.
It added that Ramkrishna “arbitrarily” appointed Subramanian as her adviser, adding he had "no relevant experience".
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