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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
HomeTop NewsThe nation wants to know who the Invisible Baba is?

The nation wants to know who the Invisible Baba is?

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nse, baba, chitra ramkrishna, ramkrishna, nse scam

Chitra Ramkrishna, the former head of the country’s largest stock exchange, is being questioned by the CBI over the infamous ‘tick by tick’ market manipulation case. This invisible Baba from the Himalayas was used to run the NSE (National Stock Exchange).

Congress has made allegations that Ms Ramkrishna, who was CEO and Managing Director of the National Stock Exchange from 2013 to 2016 before she quit for “personal reasons”, is also under investigation for an alleged “glaring breach” of regulations – sharing confidential financial data with a ‘yogi’ living in the Himalayas.

The ‘tick by tick’ case was registered against OPG Securities; its Managing Director, Sanjay Gupta; Ajay Shah, who helped develop the software; and unknown officials from the NSE and regulatory body SEBI for alleged stock market manipulation from 2010 to 2014.

An FIR, or first information report, was registered in the case earlier but new facts have come to light which is why Ms Ramkrishna is being questioned. The central agency has also posted notices against madam Ramkrishna, former COO Anand Subramaniam, and her predecessor Ravi Narayan, to stop them from leaving the country. For the period of investigation (2010-2014), information was sent in a sequential manner from the stock exchange’s servers to the brokers’ through the ‘tick by the tick’ based system architecture.

This meant the broker who connected first to the stock exchange’s server received ‘ticks’, or the market feed, before the broker who connected later, giving him/her valuable information. The case has to do with the alleged unfair dissemination of information from the market exchange’s computer server to those of stockbrokers. Both were set up in the same area – a scenario called co-location – offering the brokers a 10:1 (approximate) speed advantage over their competitors.

It is alleged that Sanjay Gupta had unfair access to this feed and this enabled his company, OPG Security Pvt Ltd, to access financial data a split second faster than his competitors. And in the cutthroat world of stock markets, this is a massive advantage for any trader. Yesterday, premises in Mumbai and other locations owned by Ms Ramkrishna and others were searched by the Income Tax Department in connection with the allegations that she shared the bourse’s financial projections, business plans and board agenda with a spiritual guru.

The guru was running the exchange and Ms Ramkrishna was “a puppet”, SEBI has claimed. Ms Ramkrishna has claimed the information-sharing did not compromise NSE operations. The NSE, Ms Ramkrishna and senior official Anand Subramanian have raised Rs 2 crores each, and the exchange has been barred from launching new products for at least six months.

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