Outgoing SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi on Wednesday defended the regulator’s orders and adjudication process linked to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam.

To a query from BusinessLine as to whether he felt sad about SEBI being criticised for its shortcoming under his tenure, Tyagi said the regulator has done everything it could to bring out the facts in the case and if there were shortcomings, if any, then other investigating agencies were welcome to take it up. SEBI tried to do its job in the right earnest and came out with NSE orders, he said.

“Did not dilute the NSE orders. SEBI acted as per its remit and understanding on the NSE case and passed a series of orders. Maybe SEBI has missed something. Let the other agencies do their job. SEBI has imposed the highest fines ever in the co-location case. Whatever findings have come out so far, have been only possible due to SEBI’s orders,” he said.

Ever since Tyagi took over the reins of the market regulator in 2017, SEBI had been grappling to carry forward the co-location case and bring a closure to it. Under Tyagi, it also disallowed the NSE to proceed further with its IPO till the matter reached its finality.

However, SEBI orders against the alleged key accused in the co-location case have been marred, mainly for the fact that they did not press charges of fraud and other serious violations in many instances, even when it came out that there was illegal sharing of data. Also, SEBI’s inaction against a similar data leak case came under a cloud. Currently, the CBI is carrying out its investigations into several aspects of the co-location case and has also made one arrest. It had first registered an FIR into the matter in 2018. The NSE case pertains to events between 2010 and 2015, he said.

The media kept SEBI on its toes, said Tyagi and appreciated it as he walked out of his chambers for the last time.  

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