The NSEL saga took an ugly turn on Monday with 63 moons technologies (formerly FTIL) announcing it has decided to slap ₹10,000-crore damage suits against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, then FMC Chairman Ramesh Abhishek and then Additional Secretary in Finance Ministry KP Krishnan for their “proactive role” in conjuring the fall of the exchange ecosystem created by 63 moons to favour its competitor, the NSE.
The three individuals will also face a CBI probe, as 63 moons has filed criminal complaints with the investigation agency for alleged corruption and criminal conspiracy.
“We have today issued notices to the three, conveying our decision to file ₹10,000-crore damage suits before the Bombay High Court,” 63 moons Chairman Venkat Chary told a press conference here.
Jignesh Shah, mentor of 63 moons, said the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) saga was not that of a “crisis”, but of a “conspiracy”. “This (damage suits, CBI complaint) is nothing against the Congress party. It is also not against the current government,” Shah said during his presentation to the media on the NSEL episode, which first came to light in July 2013.
Shah also blamed Abhishek, who is now Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, for his slow action as FMC Chairman.
“What he could have solved in five weeks as FMC Chairman has now taken five years for investigative agencies to unravel,” Shah said. He added that the FMC, which later got merged into SEBI, had gone slow on solving it on purpose. “There was a clear dereliction of duty... in selectively targeting the parent company of NSEL despite no money trail to them,” he said.
“Much before the SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) report, the FMC was aware of the role of the brokers and traders. It, however, acted in a partisan manner only against NSEL and its parent company,” he added.
Shah expressed hope that SEBI will take action based on the recommendations of the SFIO and other investigative agencies.
Shah said of the ₹5,600 crore involved in the NSEL payment crisis, decree has been obtained already for ₹3,600 crore. Another ₹1,000 crore is in the pipeline. Around ₹600 crore in payments have already been made.