February 26, 2024

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Ex-NSE chief Chitra Ramakrishna arrested in ‘Himalayan Yogi’ scandal

Chitra Ramkrishna shared secret information with an outsider whom she called a ‘Himalayan Yogi’.

Former CEO of National Securities Exchange (NSE) Chitra Ramkrishna, accused of committing serious loopholes in India’s largest stock market, including sharing confidential information with an individual she called a ‘Himalayan yogi’, has been arrested by the CBI.

The arrest came just a day after a Delhi court rejected her pre-arrest request for bail and withdrew the CBI or CBI for taking no action and being “indifferent” in the investigation against her for the past four years.

Special Judge Sanjeev Agarwal also noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission of India (SEBI) that regulates the market was “very nice” to the accused, that she faced serious charges and that questioning while in ongoing custody was required to explore the truth.

Last month, it was revealed that the mysterious “Himalayan yogi” who allegedly influenced Ms Ramkrishna’s decisions, Anand Subramanian, also a former stock exchange officer, was arrested in a market manipulation case.

SEBI said in a report that his controversial appointment was one of the decisions Chitra Ramkrishna made under the alleged influence of a yogi.

SEBI has accused Ms Ramkrishna, who was the Managing Director and CEO of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016, and others for alleging management flaws in Mr Subramanian’s appointment and massive promotion.

It said NSE and its board were aware of the interactions with the controversial advisor but chose to “keep the matter confidential”.

Meanwhile, the CBI is investigating allegations of improper dissemination of information from computer servers of stock exchanges to stockbrokers in what has become known as “co-location fraud.”

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The agency questioned her for four days last month in the case filed in 2018 involving an unfair advantage in trading with some brokers.

“During interrogation, Ramakrishna gave evasive answers claiming no knowledge of the co-location server who passed the responsibility on to Muralidaran Natarajan, then CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at NSETECH,” sources told NDTV.

Chitra Ramakrishna will be shown at the CBI Court in the National Capital on Monday along with Anand Subramanian. The agency intends to interrogate both of them together and suspect that they introduced the non-existent Yu-Gi-Oh to mislead the investigation.

Since confidential information from the NSE has been shared with third parties, the agency is also trying to find those who have taken advantage of it.

Responding to public criticism about the controversies, NSE said it was “committed to the highest standards of governance and transparency”, and described the case as “nearly six to nine years old”.