The CBI on Friday opposed the bail application of former managing director and chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Chitra Ramkrishna in the NSE co-location case.
The agency told Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal said that Ramkrishna was “highly influential” and may tamper with the documentary and digital evidence and manipulate the witnesses if released on bail.
It said that the nature and gravity of the offence were quite severe and had far-reaching repercussions on financial stability.
“The petitioner was a high-ranking official of NSE during the relevant period. Incriminating evidence has already come to the fore against her. The consequences of granting bail will adversely affect the investigation,” the agency told the court in its reply to her application.
The agency added that the examination of other witnesses was underway to unearth the conspiracy related to the co-location setup and the role played by Ramkrishna therein.
“She was looking into the day-to-day affairs and the entire co-location setup that was implemented during her tenure at NSE. There are apprehensions that she may sway the witnesses if enlarged on bail,” it said.
The CBI further said that the case pertained to allegations against senior officials of the NSE where undue gains had been made by trading members by abusing the co-location facility.
“Investigation into the role and responsibility of top officials in facilitating unfair access to the co-location setup is underway,” it said.
The court adjourned the matter for April 21, after the lawyers concerned sought time for arguments.
The arrest was made in the case related to the co-location scam, the FIR for which was registered in May 2018, amid fresh revelations about irregularities at the country's largest stock exchange.
The CBI is probing the alleged improper dissemination of information from the computer servers of the market exchanges to the stockbrokers.
Earlier the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) penalized the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and its former CEOs Chitra Ramakrishna and Ravi Narayan and two other officials for lapses in recruitment at the senior level.
Ravi Narain was the MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange from April 1994 till March 2013, while Chitra Ramkrishna was the MD and CEO of the NSE from April 2013 to December 2016.
The market regulator observed that the NSE and its top executives violated securities contract norms relating to the appointment of Anand Subramaniam as group operating officer and advisor to the managing director.