A Himalayan ascetic allegedly guided former National Stock Exchange CEO Chitra Ramakrishna in the appointment of the group’s chief operating officer, Anand Subramaniam, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, said in an order, PTI reported on Saturday.
Ramkrishna was CEO and Managing Director of the exchange group from April 2013 to December 2016.
The SEBI order refers to alleged violations of the securities contract rules related to the appointment of Subramaniam, the indian express informed. He imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna and Rs 2 crore on Subramaniam.
SEBI said Ramakrishna shared confidential information about the National Stock Exchange, including its business plan and financial results, with the ascetic, and also discussed employee performance evaluations with him.
Ramkrishna also gave Subramaniam “frequent, arbitrary and disproportionate” salary increases, and there was no evidence that he conducted a performance review for this, SEBI said. He also claimed that there was no evidence to support the A+ rating given to it.
Subramaniam joined the National Stock Exchange in April 2013 with an annual compensation of Rs 1.68 crore, according to PTI. By April 2016, his compensation had increased to Rs 4.21 crore.
“The unknown person according to Ramkrishna was a spiritual force that could manifest anywhere it wanted and had no physical or location coordinates and largely inhabited the Himalayas,” the regulator’s order read, according to The Indian Express.
The SEBI order cited a letter from the National Stock Exchange dated November 2018, in which it stated that its legal advisers had consulted an expert in psychology for the case. The expert reportedly stated that Subramaniam allegedly manipulated Ramakrishna simply by creating an ascetic identity.
Meanwhile, the regulator also imposed a Rs 2 crore fine on the National Stock Exchange and Ravi Narain, who was also managing director of the exchange group. He imposed a fine of Rs 6 lakh on VR Narasimhan, the former director of regulation at the National Stock Exchange.