SEBI exonerates Ravi Narain, 8 others in NSE dark-fibre case

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2020

Market regulator SEBI has exonerated former National Stock Exchange MD and CEO Ravi Narain and a few other senior officials in a matter involving dark-fibre connectivity at the stock exchange.

SEBI had asked NSE to deposit ₹62 crore of estimated ‘ill-gotten wealth’ but the regulator on Thursday said the nine officials, including Narain, cannot be held responsible for any misconduct or non-compliance in the so-called ‘dark-fibre issue’ .

Former officials absolved from the charges include senior V-P (operations) R Nandakumar, Co-Location head Jagdish Joshi, CTOs N Muralidharan and Ravi Apte.

Current officials who have been exonerated are COO (Trading) Mayur Sindhwad, CTO-Projects Sankarson Banerjee, CTO-Operations G Shenoy and VP-Regulations Suprabhat Lala.

SEBIsaid that none of the officials was a director and/or in a key managerial position at NSE between April-July 2015. It had launched a probe into NSE’s co-location facility on allegations that certain brokers got preferential access. The regulator issued two orders in the matter in 2019.

Certain stockbrokers were allegedly permitted to avail of Point-to-Point (P2P) dark-fibre connectivity from Sampark Infotainment Pvt Ltd, a non-empanelled service provider. The connectivity provided by this company conferred an advantage to a few brokers, which resulted in a substantial increase in their turnover from April-August 2015.

“The materials available... also don’t indicate even remotely, the role of any of the noticees as an employee of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd in facilitating Sampark to establish the P2P connectivity at NSEIL,” SEBI added.

Published on January 16, 2020

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