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Sebi exonerates 9 former, current NSE officials in co-location case

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Thursday exonerated nine former and current officials of NSE in ‘dark fibre’ case, in which differential access was allegedly given to a certain broking firms and members.

In 2015, Sebi had received complaints alleging various irregularities in respect of co-location (colo) facility provided by NSE. To deal with the same, a cross functional team (CFT) of Sebi officials was constituted to undertake a preliminary fact finding with respect to various irregularities alleged in these complaints.

The officials exonerated are Ravi Narain, Former MD & CEO; R Nandakumar, Former Senior VP, Operations; Mayur Sindhwad, Chief Operating Officer, Trading; Sankarson Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer-Projects; G Shenoy, Chief Technology Officer-Operations; Suprabhat Lala, VP-Regulations; Ravi Apte, Former Chief Technology Officer; N Muralidharan, Former Chief Technology Officer; Jagdish Joshi, Former COLO Head.

Another complaint, which was filed, alleged that certain stock brokers were permitted to avail point to point dark fibre connectivity from Sampark Infotainment, a non-empanelled service provider and the P2P connectivity provided by Sampark conferred, a latency advantage to a few brokers which resulted in substantial increase in their turnover during the period April-August 2015.

In an order, Sebi said that based on evidence available on record, it could not be held that these former and current NSE officials were involved in facilitating Sampark to lay down the dark fibre line to provide P2P connectivity.

“There is also no evidence to suggest that noticees had any role in modifying the circular of 2009 in the year 2013,” S K Mohanty, Sebi whole-time member said.

“Consequently, they were also not responsible for the non-transparent dissemination of the modification so made in the above mentioned Circular of 2009 and therefore, the noticees cannot be held responsible for any misconduct or non-compliance as far as laying of P2P connectivity using dark fibre is concerned,” he added.

“In view of the above, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, submissions made by the noticee and the material available on record, I hereby dispose of the instant proceedings initiated against the noticee by exonerating them from the allegations charged against the above named noticees,” he added.

Source: Economic Times