Apex investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is questioning former National Stock Exchange (NSE) CEO Chitra Ramakrishna to probe for fraud in the co-location case of 2015, illegalities in key appointment, as well as alleged sharing of confidential information with outsiders.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last week revealed in a report that Ramakrishna's key decisions at NSE during 2013 and 2016 were prompted by a Himalayan yogi. According to sources, the questioning began a couple of hours back and is currently ongoing.

Top sources in the finance ministry also indicated that SEBI will take a call on whether Enforcement Directorate also needs to be roped in and a multi-agency probe be launched.

CBI questioning comes within 24 hours of income tax raids at the premises belonging to Ramakrishna in Mumbai and Chennai yesterday.

The searches were also being conducted on the group operating officer Anand Subramanian, who allegedly has close links to Ramakrishna. It is alleged that Subramanian's appointment was done at the behest of the mystery yogi, who Ramakrishna used to communicate through email, as per her deposition with the SEBI in the co-location case.

SEBI last week mentioned in an order that she appointed Subramanian as the exchange’s group operating officer and advisor to the MD under the influence of the Himalayan yogi. SEBI also charged Ramakrishna for alleged lapses in the candidature of Subramanian, who was first appointed as chief strategic advisor and was further re-designated and promoted.

The co-location matter came to the fore in 2015, when a Singapore-based whistleblower raised an alarm. The whistleblower alleged that a Delhi-based member of the NSE was accessing privileged stock price information by linking to the exchange servers. It further came to the fore that some traders were being provided access to data in a preferential manner, after which the matter has been under investigation by the SEBI. In 2016, Ramakrishna resigned from the NSE citing personal reasons.

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