NSE (National Stock Exchange) scam is one of the drastic swindles in the economic field. The biggest example of how superstition can turn out to be the most deleterious for the whole world.
No one can even imagine how the NSE worked from the past few years, merely by the decisions of a guru who didn’t even know a bit of the stock exchange.
NSE- The one considered to be the most trustworthy organization, where one can securely trade, turned out to be the one highly at risk.
THE SAGA OF THE SCAM
According to the Times of India, in 2015 a Singapore-based whistle-blower alleged that a Delhi-based member in the NSE was accessing privileged price information by linking to servers and getting access to the least crowded servers.
THE MAIN FACE BEHIND
The main face behind the scam was Chitra Ramakrishna. The one who blindly followed the “guru” for all the professional decisions. She was a Chartered Accountant by profession. Ramakrishna was the MD and CEO of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016. She was one of the five people handpicked to set up NSE from scratch. As MD and CEO of NSE, she made Rs 33 crore before resigning on December 2, 2016. Ramakrishna was the second-highest-paid executive in the financial services industry then.
THE RAMAKRISHNA CONNECTION
Chitra Ramakrishna, a former chairperson of NSE was manipulated by the so-called faceless “GURU” and allegedly provided him the confidential information including:
NSE’s five-year projections
Agenda of board meetings
Employee annual appraisals
What is a co-location facility?
Co-location facilities are the dedicated spaces with infrastructure such as power supply, bandwidth, etc that can be leased by a third party for high frequency and also trading. Traders can rent such spaces and set up their systems or programs to trade in the market.
The SEBI investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2014 a handful of traders managed to get secured preferential access to NSE’s trading servers – via its co-location facilities. The access was provided for early logins, split-second access to the data feed in the exchange, and resulting in huge gains by the traders. Approximately these traders made gains to tune RS. 50,000 crore. Some even got multiple IP addresses in dissemination servers which resulted in market manipulation.
A NEW EMPLOYEE IN THE COMPANY
During the investigation, it was found out that Anand Subramaniam – a mid-level officer at Balmer Lawrie, with no experience in stocks, suddenly became Chitra’s principal advisor between April 2015 to March 2016. Subramanian was appointed by Ramakrishna to a newly created post of NSE’s chief strategic Officer at an annual salary of Rs 1.38crore, which was later increased to Rs 4 Crore. “His cost to Company is not less than Rs 5 crore. ” Chitra was dependent on Subramanian and does not do anything without his consultation, SEBI said. The order said: Ramakrishna regards Subramaniam as to belike her spiritual Guru whom she has revered and relied upon for the past 20 years ”.
ACTIONS BY SEBI
According to reports, SEBI penalized the NSE and its former MDs and CEOs ‘Chitra Ramakrishna ’ and ‘Ravi Narain ’ and all others indulged in violating the securities contract The regulator fined Ramakrishna Rs 3 crore, and Ramakrishna is also sent to jail for 14 days, NSE is fined with Rs 2crore. Subramanian is asked to cough up the fine of Rs 2 crore. The regulator also barred the NSE from launching any new product for 6 months. Ramakrishna has been banned for 3 years from working with any bourse or any firm registered with the regulator as an intermediary.
THE TAX ANGLE AND THE TAX HAVENS
The Income Tax dept is now probing possibilities of fund diversion to overseas accounts and possible tax evasion as they found frequent personal and official travel to tax havens like Singapore, Mauritius, and Seychelles just before and after Ramakrishna’s exit from NSE.
KEY POINTS FROM CBI’S INVESTIGATION
Certain brokers were given preferential access to NSE’s co-location services at the stock exchange where brokers can buy so-called “ rack space ” for their servers.
CBI had booked the owner and promoter of Delhi – based OPG securities Pvt. Ltd. Sanjay Gupta and others in connection with alleged abuse of NSE co-location facilities to make gains by getting early access to the stock market.
It was also alleged access that unknown officials of NSE, Mumbai had provided unfair access to the said Company using the co-location facility during the period from 2010 to 2012, that enabled it to login first to the exchange server to the stock exchange that helped to get the data before any other broker in the market, ”the CBI has alleged in the FIR. ”
WHO IS THE “GURU”?
According to some articles, “GURU” was considered a spiritual yogi from the Himalayas who had some divine powers. But the reality is different, the term “GURU” was simply used to bluff out the world to keep the real victim away from it. But through the mails which were sent by email@example.com, it was made clear that there is no YOGI / GURU but assumed to be some insider and some also claim that it might be Anand Subramaniam. Sucheta Dalal’s book “THE ABSOLUTE POWER ” clearly shows how this scam was brought into a frame and how a faceless “GURU” was brought up into the picture and the way internals was involved in it. Though it’s still not clear who is the faceless “GURU”, the CBI has triggered its investigations on the same.