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NSE co-location scam: Delhi Court dismisses bail plea by former GOO Anand Subramanian

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday March 24 dismissed the bail application by National Stock Exchange’s (NSE’s) former group operating officer (GOO) Anand Subramanian in the co-location scam case.

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Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal denied bail to Subramanian, who the Central Bureau of Investigation alleged was impersonating a “Himalayan yogi” and influencing the decisions of the former managing director (MD) Chitra Ramakrishna.

The former GOO was arrested by the CBI on February 24 and was remanded to custodial interrogation. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody on March 9.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the matter, earlier opposed Subramanian’s plea saying he impersonated as the yogi and influenced Ramkrishna’s decisions. It said Subramanian operated the email ids allegedly used to share confidential information. CBI said Subramanian thought he could be a yogi for four years and no one would identify him.

The CBI called Subramanian a flight risk and claimed to have recovered 832 GB of data. It added some of the data was also deleted.

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CBI prosecutor V K Pathak cited malpractices and added the accused visited tax havens such as Seychelles and Mauritius. “This aspect has to be investigated. They were gaining a pecuniary advantage. He was in a high position and was taking decisions. In the email exchanges between Chitra and Subramanian, it was found that sensitive information was exchanged. He was the main advisor…. He has not revealed the identity of the accused persons. He is evasive in his replies,” said Pathak.

Ramkrishna was arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information. She initially claimed to be acting on the counsel of the yogi. On Monday, the court allowed Ramkrishna’s seven-day custodial interrogation saying the case may be of “unimaginable magnitude”.

Subramanian’s lawyer, Arshdeep, told the court the scam took place between 2010 and 2014 and his client joined NSE in 2013. He added two Sebi inquiries did not find anything against Subramanian.

Ramkrishna, who succeeded Ravi Narain as the CEO in 2013, appointed Subramanian as her advisor. Subramanian was later promoted as GOO at a salary of ₹4.21 crore annually.

The yogi allegedly guided Subramanian’s appointment, elevation, and other crucial decisions. Ramkrishna claimed the yogi was formless, mysterious, and dwelling in the Himalayas.

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Ramkrishna left the NSE in December 2016. On February 11, the SEBI charged Ramkrishna with alleged governance lapses in the appointment of Subramanian and his redesignation. SEBI has fined Ramkrishna ₹3 crore, NSE, Subramanian, and Narain ₹2 crore each.

The CBI has been probing the scam involving Delhi-based stock broker Sanjay Gupta since 2018. The agency later expanded its probe and questioned Ramkrishna, Narain, and Subramanian. CBI booked Gupta in 2018 for allegedly making gains by getting early access to the stock market trading system.

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