Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government is looking into the governance lapses that had happened at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) but declined to comment on whether there was an adequate correctional step in terms of actions taken against those who were held responsible for the lapses.
Earlier this month, markets watchdog Sebi penalised NSE and its former MDs and CEOs, Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, and others for various violations in a case related to the appointment of Anand Subramanian as Group Operating Officer and Advisor to then MD Ramkrishna.
The regulator also imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on the NSE, Narain and Subramanian and Rs 6 lakh on V R Narasimhan, who was then the Chief Regulatory Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.
Sitharaman told reporters here on Tuesday that the government was looking into the governance lapses that had happened at the exchange.
"I have no comment to make on whether there was an adequate correctional step in the sense of penalising or anything taken against those who were held responsible for it. I have no view this way or that way till I really get to the bottom of what is available before me. I am looking into it but I won't be able to comment on it at the moment," Sitharaman said.
She was responding to queries, including on whether the penalties imposed were adequate.
Ramkrishna was MD and CEO of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016, Narain was the MD and CEO of the exchange from April 1994 till March 2013. Thereafter, he was appointed as Vice Chairman in the non-executive category on the NSE's board from April 2013 and remained so till June 2017.
According to the Sebi order, Ramkrishna was steered by a yogi dwelling in the Himalayan ranges in the appointment of Subramanian as the exchange's Group Operating Officer and Advisor to MD.
The unknown person or yogi according to Ramkrishna was a "spiritual force that could manifest itself anywhere it wanted and did not have any physical or locational coordinates and largely dwelt in the Himalayan range".
Sebi had also noted that in spite of being aware of the irregularities on the appointment of Subramanian, NSE and other officials, including former MD and CEO Ravi Narain did not record the matter in the minutes of the board meeting in the name of confidentiality and sensitive information.
While passing a 190-page order in the matter, Sebi had also barred NSE from launching any new product for a period of six months.