NSE Case: CBI Probe Finds Sebi ‘Erred on Multiple Occasions’

While the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) claims it acted ‘in time’ against the erstwhile heads of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that the regulator had allegedly ‘erred on multiple occasions,’ people familiar with the probe derails, told ET.

Sources said the findings have revealed that while in 2016 Sebi ‘learnt’ about the emails exchanges between Chitra Ramkrishna, the former MD & CEO of NSE, Anand Subramanian, and the erstwhile GOO and advisor to the MD Ramkrishna and Subramanian’s wife Sunitha, an employee with the bourse, with the private individual now identified as the ‘yogi,’ it failed to act swiftly or write to the federal anti-corruption agency to probe the email exchanges.

These sources also add contrary to the claims made by the Sebi, documents with the agency were shared only in 2019 and they were ‘silent’ on the email exchanges and the findings by the forensic auditor Ernst & Young that conclude in 2018. The emails were shared only in February this year, after the regulator mentioned it in its order.

Meanwhile the agency has questioned two employees of NSE who had allegedly ‘interacted’ with the yogi.N Muralidaran, the executive vice-chairman and a whole time director of NSEIT Ltd, the technology subsidiary of NSE, and Ravindra. Both were quizzed on their ‘purported’ meet with the ‘yogi’ as mentioned in the email exchanges between the yogi, Subramanian and Ramkrishna.

“Despite learning about the email exchanges, the regulator failed to act in time. Since the audit report observed that Information crucial to the functioning of the exchanges was parted with a private entity, they could have written to the CBI seeking a probe into the same,” explained one of the officials cited above. “They fact that they didn’t even share these emails when the CBI registered a case in 2018 and parted with it only in February, shows negligence on the part of the regulator,” the official added. S-ET

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