Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday issued lookout circular (LoC) against former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of NSE Chitra Ramkrishna, her former boss Ravi Narain and her colleague Anand Subramanian.
The agency has also started questioning Ramkrishna in Mumbai, CBI sources told BusinessLine. The government has already indicated that it will initiate measures to sustain investor’s confidence in Indian capital market.
“LoC has been issued to ensure that none of three mentioned can leave the country,” a source said while adding that questioning will continue and further action will depend on outcome of the questioning. CBI is examining various e-mails between mysterious Yogi and Ramkrishna. These conversations were highlighted in order by market regulator SEBI on February 11.
Income Tax Department has already started questioning Ramkrishna especially on the issue of talks about tax haven Seychelles. There are indications that Enforcement Directorate (ED) may also be roped in to look into any foreign exchange regulation violation.
All these actions are taking place after present NSE brass held a meeting with the Finance Ministry and tried to explain action initiated after Ramkrishna’s exit from the exchange in 2016.
On Wednesday evening, the exchange issued a statement saying that SEBI order relates to certain issues at the NSE during 2013-16 and are almost 6-9 years old. Without mentioning the name of the former MD, the statement said that the board and the management have gone for several changes.
It said that SEBI has also instituted various changes in the governance of market infrastructure institutions (MIIs), including board committee structures and oversights, tenor of management, accountability for lapses at MIIs etc., which have strengthened the control environment of MIIs. The regulator is keeping a close eye on the operation of not just NSE but other MIIs also, the statement said.
Further, it mentioned that the exchange has already operationalised the directives of SEBI over the years and has taken various measures to strengthen the control environment including the technology architecture. “We wish to reiterate that NSE is committed to the highest standards of governance and transparency and will extend full co-operation to the regulator for a satisfactory closure of the matter,” it concluded.
Earlier, the order, signed by wholetime member of SEBI, Ananta Barua, said Ramkrishna had “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 and engaged in an act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by making incorrect and misleading submissions about the unknown person before SEBI”.
The order said she was steered by a yogi, supposedly dwelling in the Himalayan ranges, in the appointment of Anand Subramanian as the exchange’s group operating officer and advisor to the MD.
It added that Ramkrishna shared certain internal confidential information, including financial and business plans of NSE, dividend scenario and financial results, with the yogi and even consulted him over the performance appraisals of the exchange’s employees.