NSE scam: Chitra Ramkrishna approaches Delhi HC for bail after denial by trial court

On May 12, special CBI court Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal dismissed her bail application, considering the gravity of the matter.
Former NSE chief Chitra Ramakrishna
Former NSE chief Chitra Ramakrishna
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National Stock Exchange's (NSE) former head Chitra Ramkrishna on Wednesday, May 18, approached the Delhi High Court for bail, following the denial of her plea by the trial court. However, the bench of Justice Talwant Singh recused himself from hearing her plea. On May 12, special CBI court Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal dismissed her bail application, considering the gravity of the matter.

Ramkrishna, along with co-accused and former NSE official Anand Subramanian, are currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody. They have been charge-sheeted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code after a co-location scam in which they were involved came to light. The co-location scam denotes how some of the brokers, who in the co-location facility offered by the NSE, could place their servers within the stock exchange premises giving them faster access to the markets, had in connivance with insiders abused the algorithm and the facility to make windfall profits. The CBI has been probing the case since May 2018.

Recently, the SEBI had imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, following the market regulator finding that she allegedly shared vital inputs about the NSE with a mysterious Himalayan yogi, including information on "organisational structure, dividend scenario, financial results, human resource policies and related issues, response to regulator".

On April 1, 2013, Ramkrishna became the CEO and MD of NSE. She brought Subramanian to the NSE as her advisor. Subramanian was made the Chief Strategic Advisor of NSE. He served at this post between 2013 and 2015 before being made Group Operations Officer and Advisor to the MD between 2015 and 2016, despite having no exposure to the capital market. It was later found that Anand Subramanian had posed as the yogi that Chitra was in correspondence with.

Previously working as a mid-level manager in Balmer and Lawrie, he had seen his salary increase from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1.68 crore annually, and then to Rs 4.21 crore.

Subramanian quit NSE in October 2016 and Ramkrishna left in December 2016. The CBI swung into action in the case in 2018 and has been probing the matter since then.

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