The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested former National Stock Exchange (NSE) managing director and chief executive officer Chitra Ramkrishna for illegally tapping telephones of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017.

Earlier in the day, the probe agency filed a fresh case under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against ex-Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, former MD and CEO till March 2013.

A Delhi court has sent Chitra Ramkrishna to four-day custodial interrogation in the snooping case.

This comes a week after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Ramkrishna and Pandey for alleged illegal interception of telephones of NSE staff. Apart from Ramkrishna and Pandey, the CBI had also named Narain in the case. The case was also filed against a private company based in New Delhi, its former directors and other officials.

"It was alleged that during 2009 to 2017 then MD, then DMD, then executive vice president and then head (Premises) of NSE and said private company conspired to illegally intercept the telephones of NSE employees," CBI had said last week.

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.

Last month, market regulator 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.

Ramkrishna was first arrested by 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.

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