(Mint file)
(Mint file)

CBI turns up heat in NSE co-location case

  • The CBI had last year registered a case against three persons for allegedly manipulating the server architecture of the NSE, Mumbai, to glean out data before other brokers
  • A case was also registered against OPG Securities owner and promoter Sanjay Gupta and others

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has expedited the probe in the National Stock Exchange co-location case, a year after it registered a case in the matter, following a series of searches conducted in the premises of NSE and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) last week.

“The CBI also visited Sebi to understand the co-location data they got from NSE and some past data that Sebi had collected earlier during their investigation," said a person familiar with the development.

In May, in a status report on the NSE co-location scam, the CBI had informed the Delhi High Court that its investigation was not restricted to the FIR which was initially registered.

The CBI had registered the first information report (FIR) in the case on May 30, 2018 against OPG Securities’ promoter Sanjay Gupta, his brother-in-law Aman Kakrady, Ajay Shah, who facilitated Gupta’s operations by developing and providing a software called Chanakya, and some other unnamed officials of NSE and SEBI.

In a 202-page order in April, the Sebi had passed three orders against NSE, directing it to deposit 1,200 crore in an investor fund and barring it from accessing capital markets for six months, besides clawing back a chunk of salaries from two of its former chief executive officers, for lapses in its algorithmic trading systems and co-location services.

Sebi found that NSE had failed to provide equal and fair access to all members when they were using its algorithmic trading platform and co-location services. Between 2011 and 2014, under co-location services, some brokers trading from the same premises where NSE’s algorithmic trading servers were located were able to get faster access to the trading systems by logging in first, thereby having an unfair advantage over others.

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