MUMBAI : The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Monday granted an interim stay to the three senior officials of National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) who were at the receiving end of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) directions for violating Sebi norms in the NSE co-location case.

These officials were facing a ban of two years from holding positions or associating with securities market entities for two years. In their plea, they had said that the order affected their livelihood.

SAT agreed to their prayer and granted an interim stay on the directions.

The officials, Ravi Varanasi, head of business development, Nagendra Kumar, head of membership department, and Deviprasad Singh, head of colocation support, were found guilty by Sebi in the so-called ‘dark-fibre issue’. They had allowed an unauthorised vendor to lay the fibre in the exchange premises.

Separately, the three brokerage firms which gained unfair access to NSE systems were also granted interim relief. However, the three brokerage firms -- OPG Securities, GKN Securities and Way2Wealth -- have to deposit 50℅ of the disgorgement amount as security by 20 May.

The matter will be heard next on 22 July.

The NSE had lapsed by allowing an unauthorized vendor to lay the fibre, which was used by two brokerage firms—GKN Securities and Way2Wealth. The firms were barred for two years from the securities market for violation of the 'model code of conduct'. Also, Way2Wealth faced a penalty of 13.54 crore and GKN of 4.9 crore.

OPG Securities was facing a bar from accessing the capital markets for five years, besides a fine of 15.57 crore, for securing unfair access to systems of NSE while accessing its colocation platform.

These firms had also argued that the ban order before final adjudication would affect their livelihood as most of the trading of these firms was proprietary trading.