Himalayan baba may allegedly be former finance minister Subramaniam, claims source – The New Indian Express

Former MD and CEO of National Stock Exchange Chitra Ramkrishna (File | PTI)

Former MD and CEO of National Stock Exchange Chitra Ramkrishna (File | PTI)

Express News Service

The CBI and tax authorities have swooped down on former MD & CEO of the National Stock Exchange Chitra Ramkrishna. But they have not been able to find the identity of the so-called Himalayan Baba who ran India’s biggest stock exchange from behind the scenes.

Highly placed sources told TNIE, that this person is no baba and has nothing to do with the Himalayas, and is most likely from the other end of the country. They say he is a former bureaucrat from the Union finance ministry who was in charge of the capital market and is credited with shaping the career of Ramkrishna and helping her reach the top at NSE.

Strongly rejecting the possibility of NSE’s Chief Strategy Advisor Anand Subramaniam being the Baba, sources said there were some people, who wanted the issue to be closed by making Subramaniam – as the person who was communicating with Ramkrishna using the email id rigyajursama@outlook.com. 

If Subramaniam is established as the Baba, then the serious charge of leaking sensitive information to an outsider would go away. This theory of Subramaniam being the Baba is also being pushed by the NSE board.

SEBI, however, has rejected this theory after a detailed investigation into the matter. SEBI investigation has also established that the NSE board had full knowledge of Ramkrishna sharing sensitive NSE information with an unknown person who used the email id rigyajursama@outlook.com.

Yet, the board allowed her to resign and leave and took no action against her. In fact, the board thanked her for her services. Sources said members of the board are also likely to be probed as investigation widens in the case.

According to sources, the name of this bureaucrat who used the identity of a baba would come out if the CBI dives deep into the case. “But if the case is investigated like the co-location scam where NSE was allowed to get away with a fine, then the baba will remain a mystery,” sources said.

They said that NSE’s theory that Subramaniam used the fake id in order to communicate with Ramkrishna and seek favours from her is deliberately misleading. “The person using rigyajursama@outlook.com id is known intricate details of NSE’s functioning and hierarchy. Subramanian was a novice. He came from outside. The authoritative tone of the messages from that mail id is a clear giveaway about the seniority and knowledge of the user,” sources said. They said Subramaniam could never have told Ramkrishna, “You will vomit all that is required as always.” This is a communication from a tutor to a pupil. Not from a junior to his senior, they said.

In a mail, the unknown baba tells Ramkrishna “don’t worry, the straw known when to be a capillary and when not to. Kanchan (Subramaniam) will be the straw and I will be the suction force for this and you will vomit all that is required as always.” Here, the unknown person is telling Ramkrishna to repeat his lines in discussions with SEBI, PMO and finance ministry on the listing of stock exchanges.

During the course of investigation in the co-location case, SEBI came across certain documentary evidence, which demonstrate that the MD & CEO of NSE had shared certain internal confidential information of NSE viz Organizational Structure, Dividend Scenario, Financial Results, Human Resources Policy and related Issues, Response to Regulator etc with an unknown person by addressing her correspondence to an email id rigyajursama@outlook.com during the period 2014 to 2016.

SEBI investigator Ananta Barua concluded, “I find the allegation that Noticee no. 6 (Subramaniam) has exploited Noticee no. 1 (Ramkrishna) by creating another identity before her in the form of the unknown person having email id rigyajursama@outlook.com to guide her perform her duties according to his wish, is not sustainable.”

SEBI said it was unfortunate that the head of the leading and largest stock exchange in India has had to resort to such attempts to justify her actions of sharing confidential information pertaining to NSE with an unknown person. 

“I find that it is a bizarre attempt at concealing the identity of the unknown person. Clearly, such an attempt is unacceptable. I note that the Noticee no. 1 (Ramkrishna) herself has stated that – “Who else and whom he would correspond with was outside my purview. He may have corresponded with any others too”, and therefore, Noticee no. 1 has no assurance herself that the confidential information she has passed on to the unknown person is not being passed on to other persons. Therefore, I find that it is a glaring breach of the regulations and laws in place that requires key officials and employees to maintain confidential information of the company, which in this case being NSE, which is the leading and largest stock exchange in India,” the SEBI order said.