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Evasion suspected: IT searches at homes of ex-NSE chief, COO 

Shishir Sinha | Updated on: Feb 17, 2022
Chitra Ramkrishna, former CEO and MD of NSE

Chitra Ramkrishna, former CEO and MD of NSE | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

NSE top brass met Finance Ministry officials on Wednesday

The Income Tax Department on Thursday raided the residence of former managing director & chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Chitra Ramkrishna, and Group Operating Officer Anand Subramanian. It happened a day after top officials of the stock exchange, including present MD Vikram Limaye, met senior Finance Ministry officials on Wednesday.

These developments are taking place after the market regulator SEBI gave its final order in the matter of Ramkrishna and others highlighting various irregularities.

A senior Income Tax Department official confirmed to BusinessLine about the raid, however, refused to share any details as the raid is underway However, it is believed that the raid is to ascertain any financial irregularity and consequent tax evasion. Chitra stepped down from her post in NSE in 2016, citing personal reasons. She was succeeded by Limaye in 2017.

Improving corporate governance

Meanwhile, according to sources, NSE’s top management explained to government officials about the various measures initiated to further improve corporate governance. It is not immediately known whether the government officials have asked Limaye to take any specific steps or initiate further internal investigation in the wake of SEBI’s order.

Later on Wednesday evening, the exchange issued a press statement saying that SEBI’s order relates to certain issues at the NSE during 2013-16 period 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 further 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, 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.

Published on February 17, 2022
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