The mysterious “spiritual Guru”, who NSE’s former boss Chitra Ramkrishna claimed was dwelling in the Himalayas, seems to be someone who not only knew the inside working of the exchange closely but also was very well networked in the Delhi’s political and bureaucratic circles.

Emails under investigations of SEBI reveal the unknown yogi, whom Ramkrishna referred to as “Sironmani”, had been interacting with her regularly even on operational issues like portfolio allocation to senior NSE employees.

For example, emails dated February 17 and 24, 2015 show that the ‘yogi’ knew NSE staff members by name and understood the organisational structure in detail. “Lala to be brought up with the current portfolio and that of Kasam as Deputy Head-Regulatory under the same grade. Nisha to handle Kasam portfolio reporting to Lala. Kasam to be removed from the structure and kept in abeyance till leaving org. Mayur to be titled Chief-Trading Operations under the same grade. Umesh to be titled Chief-Information Technology. Huzan to be titled Chief-Group Products (Debts&....) Ravi Varanasi to be titled Chief BD-New Products & (SME/Education/ROCoordination). Nagendra to be removed and separate under promotion as Head-Equities reporting to you and dotted to RV/Subbu. Hari to be removed and separate under same grade as Head-IPO & OFS reporting to you and dotted to RV/Subbu,” read an email from the yogi. Suprabhat Lala was NSE’s surveillance officer and was later named in co-location scam blown-up by a whistle-blower in January 2015.

Another set of email exchanges between the two shows that the ‘yogi’ was guiding Ramkrishna to lobby with the powers in Delhi to gain support for self-listing for NSE. “We need to make noises on self-listing by knocking on the doors of FM, PMO Somanathan, Cabinet Secretary, Economic Advisor, and finally the PM. These are not difficult as you think we must do two people in a mix at a time Kanchan will evaluate as per MY will. ‘Straw knows when to be a capillary and when NOT to.’ Kanchan is the straw and I will be the suction force for this and you will vomit all that is required as always. After doing rounds intermittently we must sound SEBI that ministry is also pressing for listing even if we need to do these adjustments..(self Listing),” said an email dated December 4, 2015 from the ‘yogi’ to Ramkrishna.

Personal attention

In addition to professional guidance, emails show that the ‘yogi’ took interest in Ramkrishna’s hairstyle and also went on a holiday with her to Seychelles, all of which contradicts her statement to SEBI where she claims that her Guru’s spiritual powers did not require physical coordinates. Emails say the Guru and Ramkrishna enjoyed listening to Tamil devotional songs. “Today you are looking Awesome. You must learn different ways to platt your hair which will make your looks interesting and appealing!! Just free advice, I know you will grab this. Keep March mid a little free. Did you hear that Makara Kundala song I sent? You must hear the resonance of that iteration. I am happy to see cheer, on your face and absolutely from your heart. I did rejoice the time yesterday with you. These small things you did for yourself make you feel younger and energetic,” reads one email from the yogi.

A month after an unknown whistle-blower exposed co-location scam at NSE, the Guru wrote to Ramkrishna, “Keep bags ready. I am planning a travel to Seychelles next month. If you know swimming then we could enjoy a sea bath in Seychelles and rest on the beach. HK is a preferred transit or Singapore for onward journey. In case you need help pi let me know Seshu will do the needful.” 

SEBI show cause notice (SCN) to Ramkrishna alleged that she continuously shared ‘internal confidential information of NSE with the ‘yogi’ and exchange’s functioning was influenced by a mysterious person. But SEBI is yet to track this yogi and found no trace of the IP address from which the guidance emails were received by Ramkrishna. That’s because laptops belonging to Ramkrishna and Anand Subramanian (Kanchan’s) were disposed of as e-waste by NSE and hence the evidence was destroyed, probe report shows. The SCN even wondered how Ramkrishna became NSE’s MD and got ₹10.5 crore annual salary. Subramanian was made NSE’s COO by Ramkrishna.

Ramkrishna also sought the guidance of the ‘guru’ on the NSE board committee, “Could we think of SBI, as domestic nominee, LIC and Abhay as the two shareholder directors, on the foreign shareholder category, we have Saif who is a troublemaker and Goldman who is a useful category, and Temasek who has hitherto played a neutral role, if Goldman is brought in he may be very useful however G usually says making the troublemaker as monitor is best way to shut them up, so I am unclear whether it should be Saif. I seek Thy guidance on the committee names Swami.”

The yogi in his reply said, “Chairman of Main Board- Abhay Havaldar, LIC Representative, Sadagopan, Goldman Sachs Representative, SBI Nominee. Common Nominee: Justice Srikrishna and Saif, Permanent Invitee: CEO, COO, Shareholder dept, Give your feedback on MY comments. Think different and you will reach MY end goal.” Ramkrishna's replied: “Company is running only because of THY Grace and my G’s blessings, Swami”.