The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former NSE boss Chitra Ramkrishna in the co-location scam case but she will not walk out of jail yet because her plea for the relief in the money laundering case related to alleged illegal phone tapping and snooping of some employees of the bourse is still pending.
Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain granted "statutory bail" to Chitra Ramkrishna and the National Stock Exchange's ex-group operating officer Anand Subramanian in the co-location scam case being probed by the CBI. It relates to alleged manipulation of the computers at the country's largest stock exchange.
Another bench of the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the bail application of Ramkrishna in the snooping and phone tapping case.
Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice on the bail plea by Chitra Ramkrishna, a former Managing Director of the NSE, and granted time to the investigating agency to file its response.
An FIR was registered in the co-location case in May 2018, amid fresh revelations about alleged irregularities at the stock exchange. The CBI is probing alleged improper dissemination of information from the computer servers of the market exchange to stock brokers.
The CBI arrested Subramanian on February 24 and Ramkrishna on March 6, a day after her anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the trial court.
She was arrested by the CBI in a case that was registered in May 2018 related to the alleged manipulation of the bourse. The ED arrested her later on July 14 in the phone tapping case.
In a status report filed in relation to the bail plea by Subramanian, the CBI said the investigation had established that co-accused Ramkrishna abused her official position at the NSE to illegally appoint him as the Chief Strategic Advisor and also "arbitrarily and disproportionately" hiked his compensation and re-designated him as the group operating officer without requisite approvals.
Ramkrishna was the MD and CEO of the NSE from April 2013 to December 2016.
The agency claimed Ramkrishna was communicating with an external email-id being operated by Subramanian.
Opposing her bail, it said witnesses were still being examined to unearth the whole conspiracy in the case.
In her bail application in the ED case before the bench of justice Jasmeet Singh, Ramkrishna, represented by senior advocate Rebecca John, claimed no scheduled offence was made out against her and that the allegations do not fall within the rigours of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
According to the ED, from 2009 to 2017, former NSE CEO Ravi Narain, Ramkrishna, Executive Vice-President Ravi Varanasi, Head (Premises) Mahesh Haldipur, and others conspired to cheat NSE and its employees. For that purpose, they engaged iSEC Services Pvt Ltd for illegal interception of phone calls of employees of the NSE in the guise of doing a periodic study of cyber vulnerabilities of the stock exchange, the ED has alleged.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, who founded iSEC Services Pvt Ltd, has also been arrested in the case. Ramkrishna was appointed as a Joint MD in 2009 and remained in the position till March 31, 2013.
She got elevated as MD and CEO on April 1, 2013.
Last month, while refusing bail to Ramkrishna, the trial court had said she not only infringed the privacy and confidentiality of NSE employees but also committed a criminal breach of trust in respect of NSE's fund and property over which she had dominion.
Ramkrishna's bail plea in connection with the phone tapping case will be heard next on October 28.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)