The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former National Stock Exchange CEO Chitra Ramkrishna on Sunday night in Delhi as part of its probe into the roommate scam. On March 5, the CBI strongly opposed Ramkrishna’s release on bail. Chitra is one of the main defendants in the NSE roommate scam case.
In December 2015, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) started receiving complaints regarding the abuse of NSE’s colocation facility and the hiring and promotion of Anand Subramanian. SEBI has begun its investigation into the matter. A forensic audit of NSE was also ordered. In 2018, CBI filed an FIR on this. Initially, the FIR was against Sanjay Gupta of OBG Securities. According to CBI, he was illegally enjoying roommate benefits.
According to CBI sources, while investigating the matter further, CBI discovered that Gupta was colluding with senior NSE officials and that is how the scam unfolded. On the night of February 24-25, the CBI arrested former GOO, NSE, Anand Subramanian.
CBI continually interrogated Ramkrishna as well. She faces allegations of promotion from Subramanian without the latter having relevant experience or qualifications. CBI also discovered that she was sharing confidential ESN information with a “Himalayan yogi”. Chitra told CBI that she was seeking advice from the “yogi”.
Earlier, the CBI said Ramkrishna failed to cooperate during the investigation, adding that a senior forensic psychologist hired to help her “extract the truth” observed that she was evasive in her answers.
Based on the investigation so far, CBI has found Subramanian to be the “Yogi”. He was the one who was writing all these emails to Ramkrishna, asking him to promote him (Anand) and instructing him on further NSE operations. Ramkrishna approached the CBI Special Court in Delhi to seek redress and filed a plea for early bail.
Ramkrishna’s lawyer, arguing for early bail, said Ramkrishna is cooperating fully with CBI and has made her phone and laptop available for investigation. The lawyer said that his conversations with a private person (the yogi) had no bearing on his functioning.
The court heard from both sides and observed that Ramkrishna’s plea did not match “any grounds we have established for granting early bail” and dismissed it.
The court also stopped the CBI saying: “The conduct of the CBI is reckless to say the least, as no action appears to have been taken against the primary beneficiaries of the current roommate scam. Even SEBI, despite being a capital market watchdog, has been too kind and gentle with respect to those charged in the current FIR.”
The court stated that it appeared that the plaintiff/accused had introduced a
non-existent person to mislead the investigating body, which may also prove prima facie its connivance in the matter.
“The very appointment of Subramanian without following due process at a very exorbitant salary, on the face of it, shows that all may have acted in tandem with each other in achieving or furthering the objectives of the roommate scam. “, said the court. noted.
First post: STI