Phone tap | CBI books ex-MDs of NSE, retired IPS officer

 Former National Stock Exchange MDs Chitra Ramkrishna (left) and Ravi Narain.

 Former National Stock Exchange MDs Chitra Ramkrishna (left) and Ravi Narain. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against two former managing directors of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna, retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjay Pandey and others for alleged illegal phone tapping of NSE employees during 2009-17.

The agency carried out searches at eight locations in Mumbai, including the premises of Mr. Pandey, two in Pune, five in and around Delhi, and one location each in Lucknow, Kota and Chandigarh.

Among those named in the case are Delhi-based iSec Services Private Limited, its then directors, Ms. Santosh Pandey, Anand Narayan, Armaan Pandey and Manish Mittal; then senior information security analyst Naman Chaturvedi and one Arun Kumar Singh. The others are the then NSE executive vice-president Ravi Varanasi and then head (premises) Mahesh Haldipur.

The case has been registered on a reference from the Ministry of Home Affairs in connection with alleged illegal interception of telephones of the NSE employees carried out by its top management in collusion with iSec Services.

“It was alleged that during 2009-17, then MD [Mr. Narain], then DMD [Ms. Ramkrishna], then executive vice-president and then head (premises) of the NSE and the private company conspired to illegally intercept the telephones of NSE employees,” said the agency.

The company was allegedly engaged on the pretext of conducting a “periodic study of cyber vulnerabilities” at the NSE. The top officials of the exchange issued agreement/work orders in iSec Services’ favour and illegally intercepted the phone calls of its employees by installing machine (s).

‘No permission taken’

“No permission for this activity was taken from the competent authority as provided under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act. Also, no consent of the NSE employees was taken in this matter. The transcripts of these calls were allegedly provided by the company to the accused NSE functionaries. About ₹4.45 crore was allegedly paid for the job,” said an agency official.

During the check period, the co-location “scam” also took place, in connection with which the CBI had earlier arrested Ms. Ramkrishna and the then group operating officer Anand Subramanian. They are currently in judicial custody.

It is alleged that iSec Services was set up by Mr. Pandey and another person in March 2001, after which his mother and son took over in May 2006. The 1986 batch IPS officer, who retired as the Mumbai Police chief on June 30, was also quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate’s Mumbai unit on July 5 in a related matter.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2022 12:15:28 am |