Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered former NSE chief Chitra Ramkrishna to pay over ₹3.12 crore in a case related to governance lapses at the exchange. A notice has been issued in this regard after Ramkrishna failed to pay the fine of ₹3 crore imposed on her by the watchdog for allegedly taking executive decisions and sharing sensitive information with a “Himalayan yogi”. This penalty was less than 7% of her severance package of ₹44 crore.
In its notice, SEBI has listed ₹12 lakh as interest from February 11, 2022 — when the fine was imposed — to May 24, 2022 at a rate of 1% per month, and recovery cost of ₹1,000, along with the original fine of ₹3 crore. Further interest will be added to the payout on the actual day of payment, based on the delay in paying the fine.
Ramkrishna has been ordered to pay this amount within 15 days of the receipt of the notice. In the event these dues are not paid, SEBI says it will recover the money by either attaching the former NSE chief’s movable and immovable properties and bank accounts. She might also be arrested and a receiver appointed to manage her movable and immovable properties.
Any assets or monies transferred directly or indirectly by Ramkrishna to her spouse or relatives, other than adequate consideration, on or after February 11 will be deemed to be hers for the purpose of recovery.
Ramkrishna is currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail after being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 6.
In April, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) granted interim relief to Ramkrishna, ordering her to deposit only ₹2 crore within six weeks. The tribunal had stated that if the amount is deposited, the balance amount would not be recovered during the pendency of the appeal.
SAT has also ordered the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to deposit ₹4.73 crore towards leave encashment and deferred bonus of Ramkrishna in an escrow account instead of depositing it in the Investor Protection Fund Trust.
The market regulator had earlier directed the NSE to deposit the excess leave encashment of ₹1.54 crore and deferred bonus of ₹2.83 crore of Ramkrishna in its Investor Protection Fund Trust.
In her deposition to SEBI whole-time director Anant Barua, Ramkrishna had revealed that she sought guidance from a spiritual baba, Rigyajursama, residing in the Himalayas that enabled her to run NSE in a better manner. She allegedly misused her power to appoint Anand Subramanian on a hefty salary in contravention to the rules based on the direction for the yogi.
Subramanian, who was arrested in February, had been on the agency radar in the 2015 NSE co-location scam case in which some of the traders were allegedly provided preferential access to trade data. The CBI had alleged before a Delhi court in March that Subramanian is the “Himalayan yogi” directing Ramkrishna.