Chitra Ramkrishna’s belated arrest shows up flaws in investigators


Chitra Ramkrishna, National Stock Exchange’s former managing director and chief executive officer, is to be produced before a local court in Delhi by the CBI, which wants permission to interrogate her in custody. She was arrested by CBI yesterday after a special CBI court on Saturday rejected her request for anticipatory bail in relation to the central agency’s investigation in NSE’s co-location irregularities.

The co-location irregularities refer to incidents, which were brought to the capital market regulator SEBI’s notice by a whistle-blower in early 2015, where NSE is said to have given a trading member illegal access to the server ahead of other members.

Of relevance to the case are some of the observations made by the special CBI court. The court observed that both SEBI and CBI have been slow to react. SEBI was made aware of the issue in 2015 and CBI began investigations in 2018.

It points to a larger problem in institutions empowered to investigate and prosecute white collar criminals. They lack the skills to carry out a core function. It’s a shortcoming that works in favour of more sophisticated operators with access to skilled legal resources. With power comes responsibility. SEBI and CBI have been empowered with sweeping statutory powers. They have an obligation to upgrade the skill of their investigators.

Read: CBI arrests ex-NSE chief Chitra after quizzing in co-location scam



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