For Chitra Ramkrishna, who is considered instrumental in the creation and development of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the fall was much steeper than the rise.
Ramkrishna's involvement in various illegal activities as CEO of the stock market led to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposing restrictions and fines at least three times in the past three years. But SEBI's latest order,impose more fines on Ramkrishna and otherswho ran operations at NSE, revealed a bizarre aspect of corporate mismanagement at the country's main stock exchange: that Ramkrishnaallegedly collaborated with an unknown "yogi"in carrying out the exchange.
Ramkrishna, 59, a Chartered Accountant by training, has been with the NSE in a management role since its inception in 1991. She was part of the core team of five selected by the government in the early 1990s to create a landscape of screen - Indian Stock Exchange to allow for clean and transparent trading at a time when BSE was hit by the Harshad Mehta scam.
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Ramkrishna and his predecessor at the NSE, Ravi Narain, were selected from the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) by its then Chairman S. Nadkarni, who later became the Chairman of SEBI. Incidentally, Ramkrishna, who began his career in IDBI's project finance department in 1985, also briefly worked for market regulator SEBI before joining NSE.
RH Patil, the first CEO of NSE, Narain and Ramkrishna were part of the core team that founded NSE. Following the end of her term, Narain was elected CEO and CEO by the NSE Board for a five-year term beginning April 1, 2013.
NSE observers agree that she, along with Patil and Narain, played a key role in making NSE the largest stock exchange in the country with the support of institutions, SEBI and the government.
According to statistics from the Futures Industry Association (FIA), an American organization for futures commission, NSE was in 2021 the world's largest derivatives exchange in terms of the number of contracts traded. According to the World Federation of Stock Exchanges (WFE), NSE currently ranks fourth in the world in terms of number of cash stock transactions.
However, on December 2, 2016, Ramkrishna resigned as CEO and CEO of the exchange with immediate effect, possibly due to differences with some board members. Allegations of corruption soon followed.
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In April 2019, SEBI requested NSE to transfer Rs 624.89 crore with interest calculated at 12% pa from various individuals including Narain and Ramkrishna to the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF) inplacementthe scandal that broke out on the stock exchange where some traders were able to log into the NSE system with better hardware specifications, allowing them to gain unfair access and profit compared to other investors. SEBI estimated that NSE made a profit of Rs 624.89 crore between 2010-11 and 2013-14 thanks to itsplacementoperation.
SEBI also asked Ramkrishna to pay a quarter of his salary paid for the 2014 fiscal year and barred him from working with a publicly traded company or market infrastructure institution for a period of five years.
In August 2020, SEBI fined NSE Rs 50 lakhs for changing the terms of Ramkrishna's salary and giving him a higher parting sum after his departure. SEBI approval is required for the compensation package for the top management of the exchanges. Ramkrishna earned Rs 44 crore in just three years as CEO and CEO, and another Rs 23 crore as combined salary for the last eight months of his tenure.
Mumbai National Stock Exchange Building. (Wikimedia Commons)
On February 11, 2022, SEBI fined NSE and its former CEOs and CEOs, Ramkrishna and Narain, and others for violating securities contract rules in a case related to the appointment of Anand Subramanian as group COO and advisor to the CEO. The regulator imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on NSE, Narain and Subramanian, and Rs 6 lakh on VR Narasimhan, who was the director of regulation and director of compliance.
SEBI's latest regulation exposed the bizarre and allegedly illegal way in which the people at the helm of the exchange conducted their business.
The regulator's February 11 order states that Ramkrishna has been running a faceless "Siddha Purusha/Yogin", a "Paramahansa believed to inhabit mainly the Himalayan ranges", for 20 years. "The NSE was run by an unknown person and Ramkrishna was just a puppet in his hands," SEBI told SEBI.
Even after SEBI sent the complaints filed against Ramkrishna to the NSE, Ramkrishna continued to seek guidance and direction from an unknown person, according to an email from Ramkrishna dated September 25, 2016 sent to an unknown person. “Swami, we are still preparing an information memorandum on the complaint. However, at least prima facie responses to the allegations were prepared. I put the same for your guidance and guidance. I will send the letter of introduction as soon as I receive it again, my Lord," Ramkrishna said, according to correspondence between Ramkrishna and the "yogi" that he shared with SEBI.
"It is more than obvious that an unknown person was in charge of the NSE, and all of Ramkrishna's decisions were made by or under the influence of an unknown person until the end of his tenure," he told SEBI. Ramkrishna shared with an unknown person confidential internal information of NSE, such as organizational structure, dividend scenario, financial results, HR policy and related matters, response to regulator, etc. directing correspondence from him to email id email@example.com (referred to as "person unknown" /firstname.lastname@example.org) in 2014-2016.
It is now revealed that an anonymous "yogi" was responsible for appointing Subramanian as the group's operations officer and advisor to MD. According to SEBI, Subramanian was allegedly complicit with an unknown person who influenced Ramkrishna's decision and benefited from being reappointed as "group COO and MD adviser", with his salary increasing significantly year on year.
Ramakrishna has yet to respond to SEBI's latest order. He did not respond to numerous inquiries sent byindian express.
On Wednesday, the NSE said it had put SEBI Directives into practice on various topics over the years and had taken steps to further strengthen the control environment, including technology architecture.
“This order refers to certain cases in the NSE in the period 2013-2016, so it is almost between 6 and 9 years old. In this sense, in recent years there have been several changes in the board of directors and in the management of the NSE," the statement read.
Statement by Chitra Ramakrishna in response to SEBI inquiries about the mysterious "yogi".
SEBI:Can you provide the identity of the holder of the email ID "email@example.com"?
Ramkryszna*:Siddha Purusha/Yogi is a Paramahansa who probably inhabits mainly the Himalayan ranges. Sometimes I found it in holy places. Location coordinates are not provided.
SEBI:Since Siddha Purusha largely resides in the Himalayan ranges, kindly explain how he would access your emails and communicate with you on a regular basis.
Ramkrishna:As far as I know, their spiritual powers don't require them to have such physical coordinates.
SEBI:Can you tell me when you met him and who introduced him to you?
Ramkrishna:I first met him directly on the banks of the Ganges almost 20 years ago. I have subsequently used his guidance in many personal and professional matters over the years. Along the way, since he manifested at will and I had no location coordinates, I asked him for guidance on how I could seek his guidance whenever I felt the need. Consequently, he gave me an identity document with which I could submit my applications.
SEBI:Is Siddha Purusha anyone who has ever been on the NSE/NSE Governing Board?
Ramkrishna:No, he is a spiritual force.
SEBI:Can you explain how "Siddha Purusha" was aware of the many intricate details of the functioning and hierarchy in the NSE?
Ramkrishna:I would greatly provide this input.
SEBI:Most of the correspondence notes that Anand Subramanian has been marked as a copy. please explain?
Ramkrishna:Above all, he was clear about the topics he was looking for. Who else and with whom he would correspond was beyond my purview. Perhaps he also corresponded with many other people.
SEBI:In accordance with the organizational structure and the principle of corporate governance, an independently constituted board of directors was available for consultation and guidance on the aforementioned organizational matters. Please explain, does the above consultation with Siddha Purusha violate the principle of governance?
Ramkrishna:I would like to state that any discussion and guidance we request from the board or other available experts always takes place. Before I can offer solely my point of view as CEO and CEO, I need guidance. This is just to allow me, in my role, to keep the main vision. As we know, senior leaders often seek informal advice from coaches, mentors, or other industry seniors, all of whom are purely informal. Having been in a similar situation, I felt these tips would help me perform my role better. Being spiritual in nature, there was never any talk of violating any issue related to the confidentiality or integrity of the organization. There would be no personal benefit from the information shared. So I felt that it would help me to act in the best interest of the organization.
* In the SEBI order, Ramkrishna was listed as notified person #1
Ramkrishna met several times with a stranger: SEBI
According to SEBI, according to email correspondence between an unknown person and Ramakrishna and his statements to the regulator, the two allegedly met several times during the year 2015.
* In his statement to SEBI dated April 14, 2018, Ramkrishna stated that he attended a meeting with an unknown person at the Swamimalai Temple inDelhiand we also find it sometimes in holy places.
* An email dated February 17, 2015 from an unknown person to Ramakrishna read: “…ps: pack your bags. I am planning a trip to Seychelles next month, I will try if you can come with me before Kanchan goes with us to London Kaanchana and Barghava and you to New Zealand with 2 children. For subsequent journeys, the preferred transit is HK or Singapore. If you need any help, please let me know, Seshu will do whatever it takes. If you know how to swim, we could go sea bathing in the Seychelles and relax on the beach. I ask my tour operator to contact Kanchan for all our tickets.
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*Email dated February 18, 2015 from unknown person to Ramakrishna: “You look very good today. You need to learn different ways to braid your hair that will make you look interesting and attractive! Just a free tip, I know you'll understand. May the middle of March be a little free.
* Email dated February 25, 2015 from unknown person to Ramkrishna: “…PS: I heard Kanchan say we should pack up and go. Get ready, the countdown starts now. I accept accommodation in the Seychelles, where he can relax. »
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*Email dated 16 Sep 2015 from unknown person to Ramakrishna: "Did you hear that Makara Kundala song I sent you? You need to hear the resonance of these iterations. I'm glad to see joy on your face and with all my heart. I really enjoyed my time with you yesterday. Those little things you've done for yourself make you feel younger and full of energy."