In a rare instance, former Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer and erstwhile chairman of the Forward Markets Commission, Ramesh Abhishek, will get funding from the government to fight a defamation case filed against him by 63Moons Technologies (erstwhile Financial Technologies).

The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), which falls under the Ministry of Finance (MOF), in consultation with the Ministry of Law, recently approved funding of Abhishek’s legal costs, sources in the know told BusinessLine .

63 Moons Technologies has filed a Rs-10,000 crore defamation suit against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Abhishek and another IAS officer, K P Krishnan. While Chidambaram is now out on bail in a bribery case, Krishnan is a secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development. Abhishek retired from service this year.

Krishnan has also made a similar application to the MoF, requesting funding for the legal costs to fight the defamation case, the sources said.

The sources further said the DEA approved the expenses to be borne by SEBI/ DEA, on the ground that Ramesh Abhishek was Chairman of the FMC, which later got merged with SEBI. Krishnan was earlier a Secretary in the MoF.

The charges levelled by 63Moons against both Abhishek and Krishnan pertain to their stint as Chairman FMC and Secretary at MOF, respectively. Abhishek has also been given approval to engage a Solicitor-General/ Additional Solicitor-General or an equivalent Senior Counsel, along with a law firm (on the panel of SEBI), to fight the case against 63Moons.

Both Abhishek and Krishnan did not reply to phone calls, messages and email queries. Queries sent to the Press Information Bureau, MoF, DEA, SEBI remained unanswered.