The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former National Stock Exchange chief executive officer Chitra Ramkrishna late Sunday night as part of the agency's probe 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 arrest comes a day after a special CBI court dismissed her anticipatory bail plea, arguing that the charges against Ramkrishna are "grave and serious" in nature.
Last month, the probe agency had arrested Ramkrishna's confidant Anand Subramanian – suspected to be the Himalayan yogi with whom she was sharing confidential information.
Ramkrishna was accused of appointing Subramanian as chief strategic advisor without following any HR procedures, awarding him with hefty salaries worth crores, and not complying with regulatory norms while conferring him with disproportionate official powers.
As the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) investigated the matter of appointment of Anand Subramanian, a Pandora's box of Ramkrishna's offences and NSE's weak corporate governance opened up.
The country's market regulator later penalised Ramkrishna for taking executive decisions under the guidance of an alleged yogi. The fine imposed on the former NSE CEO was ₹3 crore — less than 7% of her severance package of ₹44 crore.
The NSE Board had also been deemed guilty of misconduct by SEBI because it allowed Ramkrishna to continue her office despite knowing that she was steering the company as per the directions of the alleged Yogi.
NSE, which is India's largest bourse, last week invited applications for a new managing director and chief executive officer amid allegations of governance lapses.
In a newspaper advertisement, the world's largest derivatives exchange by volume specified that the candidates must have over 25 years of work experience and a "track record of strengthening corporate governance".
The new CEO is also expected to steer the exchange's plan to launch an initial public offering (IPO). "Exposure to operating in a publicly listed company or having led an organisation through an 'initial public offering’ process will be an advantage," read the job description. SEBI, however, has yet to give its nod to NSE to go public.
Apart from domain knowledge in various aspects of financial markets, candidates must have a minimum experience of five years in a leadership role, preferably as a CEO in the financial services sector, the post mentioned.
Following the Chitra fiasco, the exchange is seeking applications from candidates with "highest ethical standards" having a track record of "enterprise risk management".
Candidates need to fulfil the eligibility requirements under the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI regulations. The last date to apply is March 25, 2022.
The applications will be shortlisted by the Nomination and Remuneration Committee of NSE. The selection committee will recommend names to the board of NSE.