The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested the former CEO of the National Stock Exchange, Chitra Ramkrishna, on late Sunday evening. The arrest came after her involvement in the NSE co-location scandal came to light. She was detained in Delhi and appeared in front of a local court on Monday. The CBI sought custodial interrogation from the local court.
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Before her arrest, Ms Ramkrishna had applied for anticipatory bail from a special CBI court on Saturday. However, the CBI court refused to grant her bail and stated that the charges against her were serious and grave.
The CBI court further stated that she had introduced a non-existing person to mislead the investigative agency which may amount to prima facie to show her connivance in the matter. Moreover, the CBI will also confront her ex-advisor Anand Subramanian, who is already in CBI custody.
Ms Ramkrishna had appointed Mr Subramanian without going through the proper channels and at an exorbitant salary, according to the CBI court. Additionally, the people involved in the scam may have been working together.
The NSE co-location scam arises from the allegations of unfair and preferential access to certain entities from 2012 to 2014. Moreover, SEBI had also uncovered emails of exchanges between Ms Ramkrishna and a “mystic Himalayan yogi”.
Ms Ramkrishna’s lawyer had argued that neither she was named nor did she have any role attributed to her in the FIR registered by the CBI in May 2018. He also claimed that in the previous four years, she had never been called for questioning. Ms Ramkrishna also stated that her private conversations had no bearing on her functioning and was taking appropriate legal action against SEBI’s order.
Moreover, she added that undue public pressure is being created through the media on investigative agencies. When she was asked about the exorbitant salary paid to Mr Subramanian, she answered by stating that it was a “corporate governance” issue and it had nothing to do with the NSE co-location scam.
The CBI court had chastised SEBI over its leniency over its investigation and could not believe that the NSE officials were in the dark regarding this matter. Furthermore, the Court stated that because NSE is a premier financial institution, various investors’ faith may have been severely shaken. Given the nature and role of the NSE in India’s financial system, the court stated that a different approach is required.
References: The Economic Times.
Feature Image Source: The Economic Times