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Business News/ Companies / News/  NSE scam: 'Himalayan Yogi' in market manipulation case is Anand Subramanian, CBI identifies

MUMBAI : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday night arrested Anand Subramanian, former chief operating officer of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

“The arrest happened after three days of continued questioning in Chennai. He would be produced before the special court for custody," the person said, requesting anonymity.

According to a second person, who, too, declined to be named, CBI has determined that the faceless Himalayan ‘yogi’ communicating with the former chief executive of NSE Chitra Ramkrishna was none other than Subramanian.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in its order passed on 11 February, found Ramkrishna guilty of leaking sensitive information from the exchange, including financial data, to an unknown email id:

“Laptops were destroyed, but the IP address of the laptop and the email’s IP address was the same. CBI has also found screenshots of emails that were forwarded by the unknown id to Subramanian’s own id. Further, there is proof that he created the email id. CBI suspects that the leakage of information has not stopped there and could have been passed on to others, too. This is the reason why CBI is seeking a remand from the court," said the second person.

Mint first reported on 14 February that the mysterious “Himalayan yogi" who advised former NSE boss Ramkrishna was Subramanian himself. This was corroborated by E&Y, which had conducted a forensic audit, and by NSE, but the market regulator did not find the link convincing.

The case pertains to unfair access on NSE’s co-location or algo trading platform. An FIR in the case was registered in May 2018. The original FIR was filed against Delhi-based brokerage OPG Securities and unnamed NSE and Sebi officials.

The scam involved certain brokers getting an unfair advantage over others while accessing NSE’s algo-trading platform, thereby making undue gains or avoiding losses.

CBI had been questioning Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, former vice-chairman of the board, since last Friday.

“More arrests will be made in the case," said the first person cited above.

The original FIR was expanded in light of the recent facts that have emerged following the Sebi order. The Sebi order alleged governance lapses in the hiring of Subramanian and in the leakage of financial data by Ramkrishna.

The investigation was launched after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi high court in August 2017 by journalist Shantanu Guha Ray, who wanted the probe widened to take in algo-trading.

In May 2019, CBI submitted a status report to the Delhi high court that its probe was no longer limited to the original complaint.

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Jayshree P Upadhyay
Jayshree heads a team of reporters focussing on legal, regulatory, investigative stories. She has worked for over a decade, reporting on financial scams, legal stories and the intersection of corporate and regulatory issues. She is based in Mumbai and has previously worked with Business Standard, Mint, The Morning Context and Bloomberg TV India.
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Updated: 26 Feb 2022, 06:07 AM IST
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