CBI arrests NSE’s former group operating officer Anand Subramanian

The CBI has arrested former National Stock Exchange group operating officer Anand Subramanian. File

The CBI has arrested former National Stock Exchange group operating officer Anand Subramanian. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which arrested former National Stock Exchange (NSE) group operating officer Anand Subramanian on Thursday, has found that he had allegedly created an email account purportedly used by an unknown “Himalayan yogi”, with whom the then exchange’s managing director Chitra Ramkrishna shared internal documents.

Ms. Ramkrishna had taken several key decisions based on the emails received from the account, The email exchanges were also marked to another account purportedly belonging to Mr. Subramanian. It is alleged that during his four-day questioning in Chennai, he did not reveal the real identity of the unknown person.

According to the agency, Mr. Subramanian was arrested as he was not cooperating in the probe. On Friday, he was produced before a Delhi special court that sent him to the CBI custody till March 6. His arrest has been made in a 2018 case related to the alleged abuse of the exchange’s server architecture for allowing access to a private company to the data ahead of other brokers.

The CBI has collected the relevant documents from the Mumbai office of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and had also recorded the statements of Ms. Ramkrishna and former NSE managing director Ravi Narain a few days ago.

In May 2018, the agency had registered the First Information Report against OPG Securities, which is a stock broker, and others. Unknown officials of the SEBI and the NSE were also under the scanner for connivance.

Illegal preferential access

As alleged, the company had been given illegal preferential access to the market data feed from the exchange’s server via an algorithmic trading software package named “Chanakya”, ahead of other brokers. During 2010-12, the company had got access to the NSE’s server architecture through “co-location” facility, which allowed it to log in first to the server before other brokers.

On February 11, the SEBI had levied a penalty on Mr. Subramanian and the two former NSE managing directors for several violations, including the irregularities in his appointment as a chief strategic adviser and his re-designation as the group operating officer and adviser to the then managing director of the exchange.

Major beneficiary

According to the SEBI order, Mr. Subramanian also knew the unknown “yogi”. He was a major beneficiary of the yogi’s purported recommendations to her. The accused knew Ms. Ramkrishna prior to his appointment in the NSE. His wife worked as the regional head of exchange in Chennai.

In January 2013, he was offered ₹1.68 crore for the post of chief strategic adviser in the NSE, when his last drawn salary was ₹15 lakh in a government corporation. He got increments in quick successions and his compensation had increased to about ₹5 crore by 2016. During the check period, he also made several visits abroad.

Earlier, the Income Tax Department had carried out searches on the premises of Ms. Ramkrishna and Mr. Subramanian in Mumbai and Chennai, on suspicion of tax evasion.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 7:06:29 pm |