The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former National Stock Exchange (NSE) chief executive Chitra Ramkrishna and ex-group operating officer Anand Subramanian in the 2015 co-location scam case in which some of the traders were allegedly provided preferential access to trade data.
Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said he was granting "statutory bail" to the two former officials of the NSE.
This comes weeks after the Enforcement Directorate arrested former Ramkrishna for illegally tapping telephones of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017. Ramkrishna was first arrested by the CBI in March this year for her alleged role in the NSE co-location scam. The case was registered in May 2018 for alleged abuse of the exchange's server architecture in 2015 in which some traders were provided preferential access to trade data.
The Enforcement Directorate had in July filed a case under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against ex-Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, Ramkrishna and former NSE managing director and chief executive officer Ravi Narain.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, too, had registered a case against Ramkrishna, Narain and Pandey for alleged illegal interception of telephones of NSE staff. The CBI also filed an FIR against a private company based in New Delhi, its former directors and other officials. The said private company was allegedly engaged in the guise of conducting 'Periodic Study of Cyber Vulnerabilities' at NSE. It was further alleged that top officials of NSE issued agreement and work orders in favour of the said private company and illegally intercepted the phone calls of its employees by installing machines, in contravention of provisions under Indian Telegraph Act.
No permission for this activity was taken from the competent authority under the Indian Telegraph Act, according to the CBI. "No consent of the employees of NSE was also taken in this matter. It was also alleged that the transcripts of these calls were provided by said private company and received by the senior officials of NSE. An amount of ₹4.45 crore (approximately) was allegedly paid to said private company for this activity," the CBI had said.
In June, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed monetary penalties on NSE, its former managing director and chief executive Chitra Ramkrishna and her key aide Anand Subramanian.
The market regulator, in its 186-page order, found Ramkrishna, Subramanian and India's largest stock exchange guilty of collusion in the 2015 dark-fibre case. While NSE was fined ₹7 crore, its former MD & CEO Ramkrishna, former group chief operating officer Anand Subramanian and current chief business development officer Ravi Varanasi were asked to pay ₹5 crore each.