Former NSE CEO Arrested by CBI in Co-location Case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday arrested Chitra Ramkrishna, former CEO of National Stock Exchange (NSE), in connection with its ongoing probe in the NSE co-location scandal. She was arrested in Delhi and will be produced before a local court on Monday where the agency will seek her custodial interrogation.

Ramkrishna was denied anticipatory bail by a special CBI Court on Saturday. Refusing to grant her protection from arrest, the CBI court had observed that the charges against Ramkrishna are “grave and serious” in nature.

It said that the former NSE CEO had “introduced non-existing person to mislead the investigative agency which may also prime facie show her connivance in the matter”. The agency will confront Ramkrishna with her ex-advisor Anand Subramanian, who is already in the custody of CBI, said people in the know.

A February 11 order by Sebi had alleged the unauthorized exchange of emails containing confidential information individual referred to as a yogi. The NSE is India’s biggest exchange.

“It cannot be said prime facie at this stage that the role” of Ramkrishna “is not under scanner”, judge Sanjeev Aggarwal had said on Saturday, while dismissing the plea filed by Ramkrishna.

“The very appointment of Anand Subramanian without following due process at very exorbitant salary, prime facie, shows that all of them may have been acting in tandem with each other in carrying out or in furtherance of the objectives of the co-location scam.”

The NSE co-location case steam from allegations of unfair, preferential access to certain entities in 2012-14. Interest in the case revived after the Sebi order of February 11 that contained details of email exchanges between Ramkrishna and the so-called mystic, many of which contained confidential information and urged the repeated advancement of Subramanian, despite his apparent lack of qualifications. Several former officials have been questioned.

The court took the CBI and the market regulator to task over the way their inquiries have been conducted. “CBI is most lackadaisical to say the least as no action seems to have been taken against main beneficiaries of the present co-location scam and other for almost four full years, who seem to be enjoying merrily at the expense of common citizenry for the reasons best known” to the agency, it said. “Further even Sebi has looked away with regard to launching criminal proceedings.”

The CBI had opposed Ramkrishna’s plea and told the court that it needs the custodial interrogation of Ramkrishna to “dig out the truth” and wants to “confront” her with Subramanian.

The agency informed the court that it searched Ramkrishna’s home on February 24, seizing various articles, including her phones and laptop. Ramkrishna was questioned on February 18,19 and 22. S-ET

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