Tue, 28 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], October 1 (ANI): A Special Court on Saturday took cognizance of a prosecution complaint (Chargesheet) filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a case related to National Stock Exchange (NSE) money laundering involving two former CEOs of NSE.

Special Judge Sunena Sharma on Saturday while taking cognizance said, "Ifind the material sufficient to take cognizance. Accordingly, I take cognizance of the offence of money laundering punishable under Section 4 of PMLA against all four accused persons.""I have carefully gone through the contents of the complaint, the statement of accused persons and witnesses recorded under Section 50 PMLA, and the documents filed along with the complaints," the court said,The complaint has been filed through the Assistant Director, Directorate of Enforcement, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, who is the public servant. Therefore, an examination of the complainant is not necessary. Accordingly, examination of the complainant is dispensed with, said the court.

Advocate Naveen Kumar Matta, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) have appeared for Enforcement Directorate and made submissions on the point of cognizance.

On September 9, the ED had filed a chargesheet in Delhi Rouse Avenue Court in connection with National Stock Exchange (NSE) Money Laundering Case.

The chargesheet mentioned the names of Chitra Ramkrishna, Ravi Narain (Both are former CEO of NSE) and Sanjay Pandey, former Mumbai Police commissioner and a private firm as accused for allegedly tapping the phones of NSE officials and other irregularities.

It has been alleged that illegal phone tapping of NSE employees was done between 2009-17 by M/s iSec service Pvt Ltd. The telephone monitoring was carried out by NSE through iSec without taking permission of the competent authority asrequired under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act as well as without the knowledge or consent of the employees.

According to the ED, all the incoming and outgoing calls made from landline numbers of the employees working in the Market Surveillance Department and other employees who had access to trading datawere being monitored by iSec in the name of the Cyber Vulnerability Study. The payment for this illegal act was also made by NSE to iSec. The machines used for illegal monitoring/interception was sold as e-waste scrap by NSE in the year 2019. During the period between payment of Rs. 4.54 crores was approximately made by NSE to iSec for this work.

Former CEO of NSE, Ravi Narain was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in August 2022 in connection with a money laundering case.

He is presently on interim bail. Earlier, the ED had arrested Chitra Ramkrishna (also a former CEO of NSE) and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey on the case. Both are presently in Judicial Custody.

According to the ED, Sanjay Pandey was the founding director of iSec and floated this company in 2001 and was having 50 per cent equity in the company till 2006. He was also one of its two directors till May 2006 and during the initial meetings for the award of this contract in 2009, he used to visit NSE to represent iSec and during these deliberations, NSE was represented by Ravi Narayan (MD), accused Chitra Ramkrishna (DMD), Ravi Varanasi and Mahesh Haldipur Head (Premises), NSE. Even after he (accused Sanjay Pandey) resigned from the directorship of the company, he was having an advisory role in this company and remained involved in discussions with NSE on behalf of iSec at various stages and the evidence available reveals that he had also conducted meetings with officials of NSE on behalf of iSec.

It is alleged that Sanjay Pandey, the 1986-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who retired from service on June 30, 2022, was aware of the interception/monitoring recording of telephone calls of NSE employees and he used to send periodic reports through some employees of iSec to Ravi Varanasi, the then Head Business Operations, NSE and these reports contained the details of isolated suspicious calls and the transcripts of said calls.

As per ED, top officials of NSE including accused Chitra Ramkrishna conspired with M/s iSec to cheat the NSE and its employees and in furtherance of this criminal conspiracy, iSec was hired for illegal interception of the phone calls of NSE employees.

ED says Ravi Narain was occupying the highest position of Managing Director of NSE during period 2009 to 2013 and he was having knowledge of monitoring of telephone calls of NSE employees. Rather it was he who introduced accused SanjayPandey of iSec Services Pvt. Ltd. to accused Chitra Ramkrishna. He was part of the decision-making process at NSE wherein, it was decided to engage M/s iSec Services Pvt. Ltd. for the said work from 01.01.2009 and got said work done under the garb of Periodic Study of Cyber Vulnerabilities.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had recently also registered a fresh FIR in the NSE Co-Location Case over the allegations of phone tapping.

Following the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case in the alleged National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam that involved the phone tapping of NSE employees. (ANI)

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