Monday, October 3, 2022

Delhi court denies bail to Chitra Ramkrishna in NSE co-location scam case

A Delhi Court on Monday dismissed the latest bail application of Chitra Ramkrishna, the former CEO-MD of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), who was arrested in a money laundering case in connection with the co-location scam that also involved phone tapping of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017.

On August 25, CBI Special Judge Sunena Sharma of Rouse Avenue Court had reserved the order on the bail plea of Ramkrishna after hearing the arguments of the petitioner and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the case.

Ramkrishna, who was arrested on March 6 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was denied bail multiple times mainly on the probing agency’s argument that the probe in the high-profile case was going on.

The co-location scam denotes how some of the brokers, who in the co-location facility offered by the NSE, could place their servers within the stock exchange premises giving them faster access to the markets, had, in connivance with insiders, abused the algorithm and the facility to make windfall profits.

The CBI has been probing the case since May 2018. In April, the CBI had filed its first charge sheet in the matter against Ramkrishna and NSE’s former Group Operating Officer Anand Subramanian.

Followed by Subramanian’s arrest on February 24, CBI arrested Ramkrishna on March 6.

In an earlier order, while denying bail to Ramkrishna, the court had said: “Prima facie this kind of co-location swindle could not have been possible without the knowledge and active connivance of all the functional heads of the NSE at the relevant time, this period can be considered as dark period in the history of NSE.”

It was also observed that the present case, which involved huge loss of public money, needs to be viewed seriously and considered as a grave offence affecting the economy of the country as a whole and thereby causing serious threat to the financial health of the country.