Chitra Ramkrishna, who was the MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), was guided by a faceless conman “Siddha Purusha/Yogi” largely dwelling in the Himalayan ranges, for 20 years, says an order issued by market regulator Sebi on Friday. This faceless “yogi” was also responsible for the appointment of Anand Subramanian as group operating officer and advisor to the MD, who was not known in the industry.
Sebi Friday penalised the NSE and its former MDs and CEOs, Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, and others for violating securities contract rules in the case related to the appointment of Subramanian. The regulator levied a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on the NSE, Narain and Subramanian and Rs 6 lakh on V R Narasimhan, who was the chief regulatory officer and chief compliance officer.
“The unknown person according to Ramkrishna was a spiritual force that could manifest itself anywhere it wanted and did not have any physical or locational co-ordinates and largely dwelt in the Himalayan ranges,” the Sebi order said. Subramanian was allegedly an accomplice of the said yogi who influenced the decisions of Ramkrishna, thereby benefitting himself by being re-designated as ‘Group Operating Officer and Advisor to MD’, said the Sebi order signed by Whole-time Member Ananta Barua. The compensation being paid to him increase substantially each year, upon the advice of the unknown person, the order added.
Subramanian, in his statements dated September 12, 2018, also stated that he knew the unknown person – yogi — for the past 22 years. “His cost to company is not less than Rs 5 crore. Chitra is totally dependent on Subramanian and does not do anything without his consultation,” Sebi said.
According to the Sebi order, Ramkrishna, who quit in December 2016, shared certain internal confidential information of NSE like organisational structure, dividend scenario, financial results, human resource policies and related issues, response to regulator etc. with the unknown person by addressing her correspondence to an email id firstname.lastname@example.org between 2014 and 2016.
“It begs to question as to why Subramanian with no relevant experience, was appointed as Chief Strategic Advisor to the MD & CEO by Ramkrishna when she was already taking all her official advice from the unknown person, admittedly for the past 20 years,” Sebi said.
Interestingly, according to the Sebi order, NSE vide its letter dated November 27, 2018, submitted that its legal advisors had consulted practitioners dealing with human psychology. “As per the opinion of human psychology expert, Ramkrishna has been exploited by Subramanian by creating another identity in the form of Rigyajursama to guide her to perform her duties according to his wish. Ramkrishna was manipulated by the same man in the form of different identities; one as Subramanian who enjoyed her trust and other as Rigyajursama who had her devotion and dependence,” Sebi said.
Further, from a mail accessed by the Sebi, Subramanian “is to withdraw and surrender to the unknown person per month as gratitude on gross amount.”
“Therefore, I note that it is not just advise from the unknown person but also payment “as gratitude” was to be made to the unknown person by Subramanian. I note that he is also a recipient of the said mail from the unknown person. Hence, there appears to be a glaring conspiracy of a money-making scheme that involves Ramkrishna and Subramanian with the unknown person, by which Ramkrishna would increase the compensation granted to Subramanian and Subramanian would then pay the unknown person from such increased compensation,” Barua said in the order.