The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in its order on Thursday, disposed of the show cause notice (SCN) issued to senior employees of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on January 4, with respect to the co-location (colo) case. The capital markets regulator did not levy any monetary penalty.
The capital markets regulator exonerated former employees Subramanian Anand, Ravi Apte, and Umesh Jain, with respect to charges levelled against them, via a circular issued on Thursday.
Anand, a former chief strategic officer and group operating officer, was accused of failing to take steps to ensure fair and equitable access to all trading members. Jain and Apte, both former chief technology officers, were accused of showing laxity, and dereliction of duty, by not taking adequate steps to make the tick-by-tick architecture robust and prevent it from manipulation.
The circular said Mahesh Soparkar and Deviprasad Singh — both former heads of the product support and management teams — had not discharged their duties as team heads, by failing to monitor access to the secondary server by trading members from time to time as well as administering uniform standards of discipline against them.
The regulator said it was up to the exchange to fix accountability on employees, and take action as it deemed fit and appropriate. Accordingly, the NSE has been directed to initiate inquiry under its employee regulations against the two personnel, and submit a report to Sebi within six months from the date of order. The regulator added that the matter appears to have been found unfit for proceeding against them, under the Sebi Act.
“The case does not warrant imposition of any monetary penalty on Subramanian Anand, Ravi Apte, Umesh Jain, Mahesh Soparkar and Deviprasad Singh. The SCN is disposed off accordingly,” the Sebi circular read. The exchange had, in a statement issued in May, said it had strong grounds to contest the regulator’s orders, including the monetary liability.
On April 30, Sebi had passed multiple orders against the NSE and had pulled up some of its current and former employees for lapses at its colo facility, which allowed preferential access to certain brokers.
Sebi had also given remedial directions to the bourse to improve governance and transparency at the exchange.