The Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate on Thursday arrested former Chief Executive and Managing Director of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Chitra Ramkrishna, for illegally tapping the phones of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017.
Earlier today, the investigative agency filed a new case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, former Managing Director and CEO until March 2013.
A Delhi court sent Chitra Ramkrishna to a four-day interrogation in custody in the spy case.
This comes a week after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Ramkrishna and Pandey for the alleged unlawful interception of NSE staff’s phones. 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 from 2009 to 2017, then MD, then DMD, then Executive Vice President then Head (Locals) of NSE and said private company conspired to unlawfully intercept the phones of NSE employees,” the CBI said. last week.
Said private company was allegedly hired under the guise of conducting a “periodic cyber vulnerability survey” at NSE. It was further alleged that senior officials of NSE had issued agreements and work orders in favor of the said private company and illegally intercepted the telephone calls of its employees by installing machines, in violation of the provisions of the Indian Act on the telegraph.
No permission for this activity has been withdrawn from the relevant authority under the Indian Telegraph Act, according to the CBI. “No consent from NSE employees was also collected in this case. It was also alleged that the transcripts of these calls were provided by the said private company and received by senior NSE officials. An amount of 4.45 ₹ crore (approximately) was allegedly paid to the said private company for this activity,” the CBI had stated.
Last month, market regulator SEBI imposed monetary sanctions on NSE, its former managing director and chief executive Chitra Ramkrishna and its top 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 fiber case. While NSE was fined ₹7 crore , its former Managing Director and CEO Ramkrishna, former Group COO Anand Subramanian and current Business Development Manager 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 roommate scam. The case was filed in May 2018 for alleged abuse of the exchange’s server architecture in 2015, during which some traders gained preferential access to trading data.