NSE co-location scam: CBI to go after the high and mighty

K. R. Srivats | | Updated on: May 22, 2019

Assures Delhi HC it will probe ‘all the people’ named in PIL

KR Srivats The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has decided to investigate the “wider angle” and “wider conspiracy” involved in the ₹50,000-crore NSE co-location scam.

This investigative agency has in a status report – submitted to the Delhi High Court — on its probe in the NSE co-location scam assured the Court that it will not limit itself to the First Information Report (FIR) filed in 2017, which was seen by critics to be very narrow in scope.

The CBI has now assured the Court that it would not hesitate to examine all the people and aspects mentioned in the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Shantanu Guha Roy, no matter how high the officer or public servant is in the ranks of the government.

If found to be part of the conspiracy, that particular individual — who may be part of NSE/SEBI/Department/Ministry or private person/public servant — will be investigated in accordance with law, the CBI has said.

With the CBI giving this assurance, the petition has been withdrawn and the action has now moved from the Delhi High Court to the CBI, noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who represented the petitioner, told BusinessLine after today’s hearing.

“The petition stands withdrawn in view of the statements made by the CBI that it will examine all aspects mentioned in the petition and not limit itself to the FIR,” he said.

Jethmalani also said petitioner Roy has been asked by the CBI to come to its office to give a statement and share all the information on the matter with the investigative agency.

It may be recalled that the PIL was filed with a plea that the Court either monitor the CBI investigation or direct the CBI to widen the probe because the investigative agency was limiting the scope of its probe to only two people.

The Delhi High Court had in April directed the CBI to file its detailed status report on May 22. In his PIL, the petitioner had sought a larger ambit and scope of investigation by the CBI. It was alleged that the pace of CBI investigation was slower than expected and the scope of the FIR filed was extremely limited. The PIL is essentially a fallout of the CBI complaint filed by Roy in August 2017 in the NSE co-location matter.

The CBI assurance comes at a time when almost all of the recent SEBI orders in the NSE co-location scam, which had resulted in wrongful gains of ₹50,000-75,000 crore to deviant brokers, stand challenged before the Securities Appellate Tribunal or stayed by the Tribunal.

Published on May 22, 2019
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