The Delhi High Court has granted bail to the former managing director and chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Chitra Ramkrishna and former group operating officer Anand Subramanian in the extremely controversial co-location scam case being probed by the CBI.
A detailed copy of the order is awaited. The FIR was registered in the case in May 2018 amid fresh revelations about irregularities at the country’s largest stock exchange. The CBI is probing the alleged improper dissemination of information from the market exchange’s computer servers to stock brokers. Anand Subramaniam was arrested by the CBI on February 24. The CBI arrested Chitra Ramkrishna on March 6, a day after the trial court rejected her anticipatory bail plea.
In an unimaginable tale hovering on the borders of the impossible, Chitra Ramkrishna, one of the top business leaders of the country and head of one of the major stock exchanges of the world, Chitra had claimed that she took all her decisions in consultation with her spiritual Guru residing in the Himalayan wilderness, who she claimed she has never met.
The whole nation, baffled at the incredibility of the news, coming from such a high-profile woman with impeccable credentials, started the guessing game at who the Guru could be. Apparently, the Guru in question, who was communicating with Chitra via email – an id consisting of named of vedas -, was not only well-versed in economic and financial matters about also the ins and outs of the administrative set-up and hierarchy at the exchange so as to dictate the postings, promotions and the performance appraisals of the top level officials there. Names from former finance minister Chidambaram to Anand Subramanyam himself were flung as possible Guru in the quest to identify the person.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had charged Chitra Ramkrishna and other top NSE officials for lapses in governance and violation of securities contract rules. The major issue that struck everyone was the sweet treatment meted out to Anand Subramanian. He was appointed as the chief strategic advisor despite having a relatively less suitable profile and then he was re-designated as group operating officer and advisor to MD. The huge perks and the relaxed job contract were also major controversies.
Sebi alleged that the Chita -Anand duo were behind a huge money-minting scam during their stint at the NSE. It said, ” Chitra Ramkrishna failed to maintain the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty, and fortitude in discharging her duties and has engaged in acts discreditable to her responsibilities as MD& CEO of NSE by acting arbitrarily and misusing her delegated powers.”
One of the very few women on board of a stock exchange in the world, Chitra Ramkrishna was on the board of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016. Appointed as a joint MD of NSE in 2009, she was promoted to CEO in 2013.
Highly educated Chitra holds a degree from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) too. One of the highest paid financial executives in India during her heyday, Chitra earned Rs 23 crore in 8 months of Financial Year 2017.
She had also held the position of chairperson of the Board of World Federation of Exchanges, a global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. She was also a part of the committee on financial sector reforms headed by Raghuram Rajan in 2008.
In the three-and-a-half years that Chitra was at the helm, NSE’s daily average turnover had doubled to Rs 3.5 trillion. The exchange also posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,026 crore in FY16 which was 10 times more than rival BSE.