The CBI on Thursday filed a status report opposing the plea filed by former National Stock Exchange (NSE) Group Operating Officer (GOO) Anand Subramanian seeking bail in the co-location scam case.
In its status report, the premier investigating agency told the court that Subramanian is highly influential and can sway the witnesses in this case. “…the Petitioner is highly influential and is capable of influencing the witnesses. Examination of other witnesses is being carried out to unearth the whole conspiracy related to co-location set up. In case the Petitioner is enlarged on bail he may contact the important witnesses and destroy the e-mails/ digital evidence,” the CBI said in its status report, accessed by CNN-News18.
It further stated that during Subramanian’s tenure at NSE, CEO Chitra Ramkrishna would give undue favours to him including frequent increase in his remunerations, that too, without the approval of the HR Department.
“…it was revealed during the investigation that in pursuance to the criminal conspiracy the compensation of petitioner was arbitrarily enhanced without any reasonable basis at frequent intervals by gross abuse of official position by co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna. The frequent enhancements to compensation of petitioner were illegally and arbitrarily approved by co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna without taking any inputs from the HR department,” the CBI said.
Moreover, the agency told the court that no document was available in the NSE regarding performance evaluation of petitioner having been carried out by co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna.
It was also informed to the court that Anand was well connected with co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna, prior to his engagement as Chief Strategic Advisor at NSE in January 2013.
“During the period 2010-15 (i.e. when the co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna was managing the affairs of NSE), OPG Securities Pvt. Ltd. had connected to the secondary POP server on 670 trading days in the Futures & Options segment,” the document submitted before the high court read.
“Investigation regarding allegations of preferential access granted to certain brokers by officials of NSE and undue gains made out of it, during the tenure of Petitioner and co-accused Ms. Chitra Ramkrishna is underway,” the CBI said while opposing the bail plea of Subramanian.
The status report has been filed by the CBI in response to the plea filed by Anand challenging an order passed by the Special CBI Court denying him bail in the NSE co-location case.
The Special Court while turning down his bail plea had noted that the investigations are going on and the investigating agency is in the process of removing the secret veil to show to the court the true face of this “Himalayan Yogi who is as elusive as anecdotal Yeti”.
“…the prosecution at this stage of investigation is stated to be working on disjoint scattered dots, from which it has to conjure a final picture in the shape of a charge sheet. The investigations which are at the initial stage will crystalize into concrete form only after filing of the charge sheet,” the trial court order had read.
According to reports, many whistleblower emails were sent to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2015 and 2016 regarding alleged abuse of the exchange’s co-location facility to make gains by getting early access to the stock market.
After the SEBI received complaints on Subramanian’s elevation, it initiated a probe into it. The CBI has booked owner and promoter of OPG Securities Sanjay Gupta and others in connection to the co-location case.
Ramakrishna and Subramanian resigned from the NSE in 2016 and the board let her resign without highlighting her “grave financial irregularities”. According to Republic sources, the NSE system was rigged by placing a computer close to the NSE server. This offered the brokers a 10:1 speed advantage over their competitors. The information was disbursed in a sequential manner. This meant that the broker who connected to the server had valuable information before his rivals.