NSE chairman Ashok Chawla. Photo: HT
Mumbai: Ashok Chawla on Friday resigned as Chairman the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) with immediate effect in light of recent legal developments, said NSE in press statement.
This comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel today informed a special court in Delhi that it has obtained sanction from the respective ministry to file charges against him and four other former bureaucrats in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Mint had first reported on 5 November that Chawla would need to step down as soon as the CBI gets the go-ahead to prosecute him.
Chawla had to step down as he was no longer fit and proper as per the regulation of Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Individuals under prosecution and those who have been convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude or an economic offence or violation of securities laws cannot lead stock exchanges under Sebi’s stock exchanges and clearing corporations (SECC) norms.
Sebi had started a preliminary examination on Chawla’s chairmanship after two complaints were filed with the regulator. The complaints asked how asked it could permit a person facing a CBI investigation to chair a quasi-regulator like NSE.
After a preliminary examination Sebi in October had informed the finance ministry that his ‘fit and proper’ status will come in question only after filing of charges.
The special court also extended the interim protection from arrest granted to former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti till 1 February.
Five public servants are co-accused along with former finance minister Chidambaram in a case of alleged corruption in granting Foreign Investment and Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
CBI is probing how Chidambaram, who was the Union Finance Minister in 2006, granted the FIPB approval to a foreign firm, when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do it. On 19 July, CBI, as part of its investigation, filed a chargesheet naming 18 individuals.
CBI is prosecute the individuals under the charges of criminal conspiracy, public servant taking illegal gratification, abetting this offence and public servant committing criminal misconduct under The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.