I-T Conducts Digital Probe into Ex-NSE Official’ Gadgets

The Income –Tax department is carrying out digital forensic of all electronic products including mobile phones seized from multiple premises linked to former National Stock Exchange (NSE) chairperson Chitra Ramkrishna and ex-group operating officer Anand Subramanian, two people with direct knowledge said.

The probe report is expected to be submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after corroborating forensic finding by March, they told ET.

Digital forensic is aimed at retrieving both personal and professional data to establish a connection between Chitra and Subramanian and an unknown person referred to as ‘Yogi’ or spiritual guru, one of the persons said.

Market regulator Sebi had earlier this month indicted Ramkrishna for corporate governance transgression and allegedly sharing confidential information including financial data of the country’s largest stock market with the said Yogi. The I-T department is probing and fund diversion to overseas accounts in tax havens.

“The department is yet to establish a clear tax evasion angle and hence awaiting the result of forensic,” the person said.

Tax officials expect the forensic report within a week. They believe it could provide a breakthrough in the matter, and help in understanding whether former brass of NSE used the exchange’s system for unlawful gains and, if yes, the quantum.

Digital forensics is a method employed to trace the digital evidence of any data breach /theft and trail of any manipulation carried out in the system. The process is being used in complex cases for tracing activities carried out using electronic systems, the second persons said.

The tax department is learnt to have scrutinized forensic audit report prepared by EY India and Deloitte in the case. However, there is a feeling these reports focused on NSE-related activities and had not gone deeper into individual transactions and related trails.

Last week, the investigation wing of I-T department in Mumbai had searched the residence of Ramkrishna on allegations of illegal gains made by her by passing on internal exchange information to a third party. The tax department also searched premises linked to Subramanian Chennai.


In a separate move, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs39.19 crore belonging to Delhi-based brokerage OPG Security and its directors in the NSE co-location case. These assets include five residential properties and one hotel plot in Delhi, four plots in Ghaziabad, and a complex in Dehradum.

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