New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has sharpened its probe against Chitra Ramkrishna, the former boss of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), for sharing confidential financial information with a ‘faceless yogi’ in the Himalayas.
A lookout has been issued for the former CEO and MD, and also for NSE’s former Group Operating Officer Anand Subramanium, who was her “advisor”.
A report by the regulatory body SEBI has revealed that Ramkrishna shot confidential information to the email ID firstname.lastname@example.org on NSE board meeting agendas, business plans and performance appraisals of NSE employees.
Ramakrishna has said the mail ID belonged to this Himalayan yogi.
The yogi influenced important decisions taken by Ramkrishna, significant among which was the sudden promotion of Subramanium from CSO to Group Operating Officer. Subramanium was given a salary more than ten times his previous one of Rs 15 lakh.
The duo is also being investigated for tax evasion and other financial crimes.
Here is a near-verbatim extract of mail exchanges between Chitra Ramkrishna and the yogi, lifted from SEBI’s 190-page order:
Promotion of Anand Subramanium:
- a) Mail on 18 February, 2015 at 15:59 hrs from Noticee 1 (Chitra Ramakrishna) to Unknown Person (Himalayan yogi):
“1. The role and designation of group chief coordination officer is fine and we could take that forward. I have a small submission, can we make this as Group president and chief coordination officer? And over a time frame as You direct we can move the entire operations of the exchange under G (Anand Subramanium) and redesignate him as chief operating officer? Seek Your guidance on the path forward on this Swami.
If this meets with your Highness’ approval, then parallelly could we coin JR as group President Finance and stakeholder relations and Corporate General Counsel?”
- b) Mail dated 18 February, 2015 at 18:01 hrs from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“I have the following questions, that will place all of you in an awkward situation. I buy your argument and analysis, interesting but have not got my answers from your own concerns. If on one hand I call JR a President who is a KMP the other person how can he/she be excused, is it subjective?
- c) Mail dated February 19, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“I will draw the curtains down to this discussion with the following points for consideration, of course SOM can execute her authority to change if required suiting the company requirement or write to me seeking clarifications.
Any journey the enjoyment is there after completion of the path that we tread, similar is the HR process. ln this journey if we view our personal goals then it is difficult to align with business goals. So, in order to have a mix of all and not precipitate the contract entered into and also maintain status on hierarchy, and considering legally the terms of reference in TITLE NOT AS KMP and still get an executive authority, I propose with love and abundant blessings that you will be called from April 01, 2015 as “GROUP OPERATING OFFICER & ADVISOR TO MD” at the same level as group president of the company.
With this I call upon SOM to discharge the following:
- contract to revise to 5 day week only for paper and emoluments. 3 day will continue on routine with HO and rest at will.
- one day brought additional on contract per week. Kanchan to withdraw and surrender to me per month as gratitude on gross amt.
- Travel intl first class exceeding 5hrs journey point to point, business class for domestic for group president and above.
Mail dated 24 February 24, 2015 from the Noticee 1 to Unknown Person:
“I have put down the suggestions on the promotions, Swami. Seek Your Guidance…
Promotions of employees:
Mail dated 24 February, 2015 from the Noticee 1 to Unknown Person:
“I have put down the suggestions on the promotions, Swami. Seek Your Guidance.
- VP to SVP Chandrashekar Mukherjee reporting to GOO
- AVP to VP Nagendra to be called Head Equities with direct reporting to MD and dotted reporting to RV and GOO
- CM to AVP Tojo to move as Head BD to Kolkata. Achal to move as Head BD to WRO. Gaurav to move as Head BD to Delhi (Gaurav to be promoted provided he achieves his KRA for the year, which as of Jan is shortfall).
E-mail dated 24 February, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“Some googly, Nagendra can continue as AVP as Head Equities under impendent charge. Once his competency is checked for one year and his decision-making levels with market and region BD team, we can evaluate his promotion.
Tojo to Kolkota and Achal to Delhi is required under promotion for strategy as Delhi government interface Achal will be a better person than others.
Gaurav, wait for his response and then you will revert. Seema is a darling child, she requires polishing, everyone has a god father for his growth, for her it is ME for a commitment given yesteryears, so she can be promoted and moved to SME as head and also be Management Representative for Business Excellence for the audit purpose reporting to RV and SS.
Rachana may be moved back as Regulatory Head for WRO pending same grade and will be promoted next year as guarantee. Anuradha may be moved to BE under Sanjay and also handle Board meetings of NSEIL and NSCCL alone as additional portfolio.
Formation of committee:
E-mail dated February 05, 2016 from the Noticee no. 1 to Unknown Person:
“I have been trying to think over the composition of the committee and seek Thy guidance on the composition of the committee. While the committee can be constituted before March end, many of the public directors will demit office by March end. So, the 2 directors who are to be named in the committee may not have enough term to contribute. Only justice Srikrishna has a term of a few months left.
The new directors who get approved and come in this month or next month may have little history and background to contribute; these are all the thoughts in my mind and so I am struggling to see how to solve this.
Swami I also seek Thy guidance on the common nominee by the Board, as I understand this should be a non-board person, and a person acceptable to all. Swami as G suggested we must make an effort and put some names to Thee, I have discussed the same with G and our thoughts are — Could we think of SBI, as domestic nominee, LIC and Abhay as the two shareholder directors, on the foreign shareholder category, we have Saif who is a troublemaker and Goldman who is a useful category, and Temasek who has hitherto played a neutral role, if Goldman is brought in he may be very useful however G usually says making the troublemaker as monitor is best way to shut them up, so I am unclear whether it should be Saif.
E-mail dated 6 February, 2016 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“My suggestions are follows. The constitution of committee must be like a fresh term for the said people, govt forms various committees for different purposes. Like that when we constitute these are considered for a period of two years and like the Srikrishna committee, Lodha committee, Sarlcaria committee, etc which resolves to a definite purpose. Likewise, it is not PID which must form the framework, it is people who are familiar to bring an early resolve to this problem and also will have a capacity to handle SEBI and govt with their stature and I propose the following under changed conditions stated by you.
Mail dated February 17, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“…p.s, keep bags ready I am planning a travel to Seychelles next month, will try if you can come with me, before Kanchan (Anand Subramanium) goes to London with Kaanchana and Barghava and you to New Zealand with two children.
HK is a preferred transit or Singapore for onward journey. In case you need help pl let me know, Seshu will do the needful. If you know swimming then we could enjoy a sea bath in Seychelles and rest in the beach. I am asking my tour operator to connect with Kanchan for all of our tickets.”
Mail dated 18 February, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“Today you are looking Awesome. You must learn different ways to platt (sic) your hair which will make your looks interesting and appealing!! Just a free advice, I know you will grab this. Keep March mid a little free.”
Mail dated 25 February, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“…PS: I overheard with Kanchan when you said lets pack and leave, Get ready count down starts now I accommodate for Seychelles where you can chill it out.”
Listing of SEBI:
Mail dated 4 December, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee no. 1:
“The spirit is seen but the fire is yet to be initiated. I have a twist to all my thoughts and deeds. If one has to drive home a point then we need to continuously ponder on seeing our agenda through. So restructuring is already now a buy in. We need to make noises on self-listing by knocking doors of the few. FM, PMO Somanathan, Cabinet Secretary, Economic Advisor and finally the PM. These are not difficult as you think we must do two people in a mix at a time, Kanchan will evaluate as per MY will. Don’t worry the straw knows when to be a capillary and when NOT to. Kanchan is the straw and I will be the suction force for this and you will vomit all that is required as always. After doing rounds intermittently we must sound SEBI that ministry is also pressing for listing even if we need to do these adjustments… (self Listing)…
See what happens, enjoy the run…”
Proposed organisation structure:
Mail dated 17 February, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee no. 1:
“The following are my observations that requires proper understanding and incorporation if that goes well within the framework.
- Lala to be brought up with current portfolio and that of Kasam as Deputy head Regulatory under same grade. Nisha to handle Kasam portfolio reporting to Lala.
- Kasam to be removed from structure and kept on abeyance till leaving orgn.
- Mayur to be titled Chief — Trading Operations under the same grade
- Umesh to be titled Chief — Information Technology
- Huzan to be titled Chief — Group Products (Debts &…)
- Ravi Varanasi to be titled Chief BD — New Products & (SME/Education/RO Coordination)
- Nagendra to be removed and separate under promotion as Head — Equities reporting to you and dotted to RV/Subbu.
- Hari to be removed and separate under same grade as Head — IPO & OFS reporting to you and dotted to RV/Subbu. Official Spokesperson for Group apart from you are as follows: 1. RV/JR/HM/Mukesh/VRN/TVR/UJ/Arindham representing Subbu.
Mail dated 16 September, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1:
“Did you hear that Makara Kundala song I sent? You must hear the resonance of that iterations. I am happy to see cheer on your face and absolutely from your heart. I did rejoice the time yesterday with you. These small things you did for yourself make you feel younger and energetic.”
Mail dated 2 March, 2015 from Unknown Person to Noticee 1 and Nawaz Patel (secretary to the MD & CEO) and subsequent reply from Nawaz Patel to Unknown Person on same date:
“Hi Chitra/Navaz, I am a good friend of your foreign shareholders representation committee on your Board and would like to discuss the global trend on the dividend payout that is worldwide accepted with you in person. I am on a trip to India and in Delhi on 7th and 8th March and will be happy to meet on any of these two days at your convenience. Since 7th will be a tight schedule will March 8th Forenoon work, then we will meet at Vasant Vihar Delhi at my India Office. Looking forwarding to hearing from you.”
From Nawaz Patel to Unknown Person:
“Greetings from NSE! Thank you for your email to Ms. Chitra Ramkrishna, MD & CEO, NSE. Ms Ramkrishna will be pleased to meet you on Sunday, March 08, 2015. As regards the time and venue for the meeting we will touch base with you.”
Compiled by Sukriti Vats