‘Yogi’ fraud case: CBI grills NSE ex-CEO Ramakrishna (2nd Lead)

The CBI, speeding up the probe in the alleged fraud case at the NSE involving the influence of a “yogi” living in the Himalayas, on Friday recorded the statements of the bourse’s former MD and CEO Chitra Ramakrishna, who has learnt to be alleging that she is being “framed”.

Ramakrishna, who reached the Mumbai office of the CBI in the afternoon to record her statements, is being questioned by a team of senior officials, including one woman.

According to sources, the CBI has asked her around 50 questions, including how long she had been sending mails to the “yogi”, was she given any cut for sharing classified information, if so, where she invested this money.

Ramakrishna also tried to play victim card, claiming she didn’t know a lot of things, a source said. She also has claimed that she is innocent and somebody is trying to frame her, the source added.

A CBI official close to the investigation said that Ramakrishna was evasive and was frequently changing her statements. She has tried to mislead the investigation and in the coming days, her predecessor at the NSE, Ravi Narayan and Anand Subramanian, who was appointed by Ramakrishna to a senior post at the NSE on the allegedly at the yogi’s urging will also be grilled by the CBI, added the official.

The CBI had lodged an FIR against the former NSE chief on the basis of a report of market regulator SEBI, in which she has been accused of leaking classified information to a yogi who lived in the Himalayas between 2014 and 2016. This yogi had access to the email ID – rigyajursama@outlook.com – on which the emails were sent.

It has been learnt that she allegedly shared vital inputs with the yogi, including on the NSE’s organisational structure, dividend scenario, financial results, human resource policies and related issues, response to the regulator, etc.

The SEBI had imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on her.

Subramanian was made the Chief Strategic Advisor of the NSE in 2013 and served till 2015, when he was Chief Operations Officer and Advisor to the MD.

Subramanian, who had previously been working as a mid-level manager in Balmer and Lawrie, had no exposure to the capital market. However, his salary was increased from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1.68 crore annually, and then, Rs 4.21 crore.

The CBI has already opened Look Out Circular against Ramakrishna, Subramanian, and Ravi Narayan.

“There was a flight risk, there were possibilities that they may flee abroad and taking preventive steps, we issued the LOC,” source told IANS.

On Thursday, the Income Tax Department had conducted raids at her houses in Mumbai and Chennai. The sources said that incriminating documents were recovered during the raids.

The Department scanned various transactions and digital records. They also recorded the statements of a few of her employees.

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