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    EXCLUSIVE | NSE co-location scam: CBI arrests former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna

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    EXCLUSIVE | NSE co-location scam: CBI arrests former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna


    Former NSE Chief Executive Chitra Ramkrishna was arrested by CBI after a special court dismissed her anticipatory bail plea. She has been accused of grave irregularities at the stock market, including sharing privileged information with a Himalayan yogi, who CBI claims is former CGO Anand Subramanian. CBI had earlier arrested Subramanian.

    The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former National Stock Exchange CEO Chitra Ramkrishna on Sunday evening in Delhi as part of its investigation into the colocation scam. The CBI had on March 5 argued strongly against giving bail to Ramkrishna. Chitra is one of the key accused in NSE co-location scam case.
    In December 2015, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) started getting complaints regarding the abuse of NSE's co-location facility and the hiring and promotion of Anand Subramanian. SEBI started its enquiry in the matter. Forensic audit of NSE was also ordered. In 2018, CBI filed an FIR in the matter. Initially, the FIR was against OBG securities' Sanjay Gupta. As per CBI, he was getting the benefits of co-location illegally.
    As per CBI sources, while investigating the case further, CBI found that Gupta was in conniving with top officials of NSE and that's how the scam was taking place. On the intervening night of February 24-25, CBI arrested former GOO, NSE, Anand Subramanian.
    CBI was continuously questioning Ramkrishna as well. She is facing allegations of promoting Subramanian without the latter having any relevant experience or qualifications. CBI also found out that she was sharing confidential NSE information with a 'Himalayan Yogi.' Chitra told CBI that she was seeking guidance from the 'yogi.'
    Earlier, the CBI said Ramkrishna did not cooperate during the investigation, adding that a senior forensic psychologist, roped in to help "extract the truth" from her, observed that she was being evasive in her responses.
    Based on the investigation so far, CBI has found that Subramanian was the 'Yogi.' He was the one who was writing all those emails to Ramkrishna, asking her to promote him (Anand) and was instructing her about other NSE operations. Ramkrishna approached Special CBI court Delhi seeking relief and filed an anticipatory bail plea.
    Ramkrishna's counsel, arguing for the grant of anticipatory bail, said that Ramkrishna is fully cooperating with CBI and that she made her phone and laptop available for investigation. The lawyer said her conversations with a private person (the yogi) had no bearings on her functioning.
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    The court heard both sides and observed that Ramkrishna's plea matches "no grounds we made out for grant of anticipatory bail" and denied it.
    The court also pulled up the CBI, saying, "The conduct of 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. Even SEBI, despite being a capital market watchdog, has been too kind and gentle qua the accused persons in the present FIR."
    The court said it appeared that the applicant/accused had introduced a
    non-existing person to mislead the investigating agency, which may also prima facie show her connivance in the matter.
    "The very appointment of  Subramanian without following due process at very exorbitant salary, prima 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 court said.
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