The income tax (I-T) department has conducted searches at the Mumbai residence of Chitra Ramakrishna, former managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the ‘mysterious’ Anand Subramanian (Subbu), who was appointed and promoted as group operating officer (GOO) by Ms Ramkrishna.
Internal guidelines of large international companies such as Paypal say that it is highly suspicious if someone’s footprint has been completely wiped out from the net. Mr Subramanian, who had no digital footprint, went on to become the group operating officer in a very large, highly technology-intensive and sensitive organisation like the NSE, which is a first-line regulator.”
At around 7am, about eight to nine officials from the I-T department landed at the residence of Ms Ramkrisha and her mother’s house. Ms Ramkrishna stays at Chembur. Her mother stays in a separate house.
The I-T department also carried out a search operation at the residence of Mr Subramanian, who has remained a mystery for everyone outside NSE.
The searches are aimed to check charges of tax evasion and financial irregularities against her and others, a media report says quoting officials.
There are allegations that she made illegal gains when she passed on internal information of NSE to an unknown third person, whom she referred to as Himalayan Yogi.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently penalised Ms Ramakrishna for passing sensitive information about NSE to this unknown or faceless spiritual force residing in the Himalayas.
Chitra Ramkrishna resigned from NSE on 2 December 2016. However, SEBI raised serious questions on how the NSE board allowed her to exit from the Exchange, despite the misconduct in appointing and sharing confidential information with an unknown person.
“SEBI examination found that in spite of having knowledge of such grave irregularities and misconduct on the part of Chitra Ramkrishna on the appointment of Anand Subramanian in the NRC and NSE board meeting held on 21 October 2016 and knowledge of exchange of confidential information by Chitra Ramkrishna with an unknown person in the NSE Board meeting held on 29 November 2016, NSE and its NRC and board members, in the board meeting held on 2 December 2016, allowed Chitra Ramkrishna to exit through resignation despite having committed such bizarre misconduct as reflected from her email correspondence with a fictitious email address apparently belonging to Anand Subramanian without taking any action in this regard,” the order says.
The SEBI order tabulates and documents the extraordinary rise of Anand Subramanian, with the connivance of the NSE board, without declaring him a key management person (KMP) even while he was appointed on the boards of NSE’s subsidiary companies and almost every decision of the Exchange, since his appointment as a consultant, was routed through him. He also availed of perks that were not given to any other consultant; he travelled first class around the world, often accompanying Ms Ramakrishna and was allowed to spend two to three days a week in Chennai, where his wife was also employed by the Exchange.
More importantly, his evaluation did not go through the HR (human relations) process and was decided by Ms Ramakrishna alone. It is a scandal that all this was unknown to the regulator, although NSE is a highly regulated and very sensitive market institution.
After receiving the complaints, SEBI, four times in 2016, asked NSE to clarify if Anand Subramanian had been designated as KMP. Mr VR Narasimhan, the then CRO, told SEBI that there was no violation of Securities Contracts (Regulations) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2012 (SECC Regulations) in the appointment of Mr Subramanian and the MD, being a competent authority, had appointed him.