CBI questions former NSE chief Chitra Ramkrishna over alleged abuse of server colocation facility


New Delhi: The CBI on Friday questioned former National Stock Exchange CEO Chitra Ramkrishna in light of new facts emerging in its ongoing investigation into alleged misuse of colocation facilities in the NSE, officials said .

The CBI has also issued surveillance circulars against Ramkrishna, another former CEO Ravi Narain and former group operations director Anand Subramanian to prevent them from leaving the country.

The central polling agency had booked the owner and promoter of Delhi-based OPG Securities Pvt. ltd. Sanjay Gupta and others in connection with alleged abuse of NSE’s co-location facility to make gains by gaining quick access to the stock market, they said.

The agency was also investigating unidentified officials from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Mumbai and other unidentified individuals.

“It was alleged that the owner and promoter of said private company misused NSE’s server architecture in a conspiracy with unknown NSE officials. It was also alleged that unknown NSE officials, Mumbai, had provided unfair access to the said company using the co-locator facility during the period 2010-2012 which enabled it to first connect to the exchange server of the Stock Exchange which helped to obtain the data before any other broker in the market,” the CBI alleged in the FIR.

In the NSE’s high-frequency algorithmic trading, a few seconds’ advantage for a stockbroker in a trade can make a huge difference, officials said.

It appeared that Gupta was the first to connect in 90% of cases, which caused murmurs in the stockbroker circuit and led to the introduction of a load balancer by the NSE, said the responsibles.

Gupta again managed NSE’s data center staff to connect to backup servers which were unloaded and provided much better and faster access to market feeds for OPG Securities compared to other brokers, the company alleged. CBI.

The investigative agency alleged that he successfully manipulated the SEBI investigation into OPG Securities’ role in misusing the servers’ tick-by-tick (TBT) architecture by paying bribes- de-vin to officials of the stock market regulator.

Ramkrishna served as Managing Director and CEO of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016, Narain served as Managing Director and CEO of the exchange from April 1994 to March 2013. Subsequently, he was appointed Vice Chairman in the non executive of the NSE board from April 2013 and remained so until June 2017.

Ramkrishna made headlines after a Feb. 11 SEBI order said it was led by a yogi, dweller in the Himalayan ranges, when Anand Subramanian was appointed director of Exchange Group Operations and Advisor to the Managing Director (MD).

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has charged Ramkrishna and others with alleged governance failures during Subramanian’s appointment as chief strategic adviser and his reappointment as group chief operating officer and adviser to MD .

SEBI fined Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on National Stock Exchange (NSE), Subramanian, former NSE MD and CEO Ravi Narain, and Rs 6 lakh on VR Narasimhan, who was the director of the regulatory and compliance officer.


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