NSE Colo Scam: Statement of Sucheta Dalal on Colocation Scam Investigation by CBI
Moneylife Digital Team 22 July 2022

Statement of Sucheta Dalal, Managing Editor of Moneylife Magazine On the Colocation Scam Investigation by the CBI

I was called to New Delhi to record my statement on the colocation scam on 16th July 2022 because I was the person who had broken the story in June 2015. The colocation scam is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

For the record, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) had filed a Rs100 crore defamation case against me and Moneylife, which they withdrew after paying Rs50 lakh as ordered by the high court. Subsequently, SEBI's long-drawn investigation has repeatedly proven wrongdoing at the NSE after multiple investigations.

Even earlier, Abhinav Khare, SP, CBI, who is investigating the scam and Pushpal Paul, DSP, CBI, had contacted me to seek information.

Just before the New Delhi meeting, I was told that they wanted to record my statement before Mr Paul. On asking Mr Khare, he had told me that it was about 'Ken Fong'. This is the name used by the whistle-blower, whose email to SEBI, copied to me, was first reported by Moneylife in 2015 and led to the investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and now by CBI.

Indeed, most of the questions asked by the CBI were about Ken Fong's four letters. I had carried all the four letters posted by Ken Fong to me from two different countries and showed CBI copies of my emails to SEBI before publishing the first article. These are all part of official legal records in the Rs100 crore defamation suit filed against me and Moneylife by the NSE, which was subsequently withdrawn.

I was asked if I knew who Ken Fong was. I do not know who he is and I said so emphatically. I was also asked about the process which we followed before writing the article and the decision to publish it. And whether I had asked to visit the NSE before writing the article.

I pointed out that colocation trading happens in highly sophisticated computers and there would be nothing for me to see from the outside. The decision to publish it was entirely mine after following the usual journalistic process of trying to verify the truth.

Apart from this, I was asked if I knew Sanjay Pandey, former Commissioner of Police, whose firm, iSec Services Pvt Ltd, is under the scanner. I answered that I did indeed know Sanjay Pandey since about 1994-95, when my junior at the Times of India, Somasekhar Sundaresan, used to report extensively on the cobbler scam for the Business Times section when I was the Financial Editor. I have indeed known Mr Pandey since then, as have most journalists in Mumbai.

I categorically stated that I have nothing to do with Mr Pandey and his business deals, specifically his dealings with NSE under the management of Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna, under whom the colocation scam happened.

I was also asked if I knew Ravi Narain, former Managing Director of the NSE. I responded that I had known him from the time NSE was started (which was around 1992) since I have been reporting extensively on the capital market for 35 years.

As a financial journalist covering the capital market, it is basic to my job to know the heads of all stock exchanges.

I was asked if I had introduced Mr Pandey to Mr Narain. I told them I have no such recollection. I believe that Mr Narain has made this allegation.

I said that I did not see why NSE or Ravi Narain would need a recommendation from me when SEBI had asked Mr Pandey to investigate the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) in 2005. NSDL is a subsidiary of NSE. Later NSE itself had asked him to be part of an investigation committee with regard to a trading glitch.

I am issuing this statement since one media house has written to ask me questions about the meeting with CBI. I am intrigued that questions are being raised by the media about the journalist, who actually broke multiple scams over the years, including the colocation scam.

I am always happy to cooperate with any investigation, as I have done for all my decades as a journalist.

2 years ago
Congratulations, Sucheta. You have come out of the meeting smelling of roses. Truth shall prevail, though we may have to have immense patience.
2 years ago
I believe in your statement. However, it is time to reveal larger scam, big people involved, their roles and their motives. This should also include actual beneficiaries like Brokers (with names, indication if you lack proofs), NSE Officers, Officers from Regulator SEBI, Government officers, Politicians etc. Instead of writing to write book, please release articles in PDF and put in public domain. Let larger truth come open. Don't be afraid. We are with you. All your life, you have lived with in your means and not in luxuries enjoyed by many media celebrities.
2 years ago
Thanks for your report following the best norms of transparency. Was CBI seeking information, confirmation or was it intimidatory?
2 years ago
2 years ago
Responsible journalistic practices adopted by institutions like the Money Life are the preserves of a healthy democracy. When disclosures of the companies come under the scanner resulting later in scams, it is only a third eye knowledgeable in such disclorures can alone comment with necessary insights and evidences. They should not be a gossip on social media with their own interpretations.
Free Helpline
Legal Credit