The Congress demanded details on the functioning of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which is moored in allegations that former CEO Chitra Ramkrishna allegedly acted on the advice of a “spiritual guru”. “The finance ministry and the prime minister should come out with a white paper on the state of affairs of National Stock Exchange and on the shocking activities of an ‘invisible Baba’ who was dictating terms to the former CEO of the exchange,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told reporters.
Ramkrishna, the former MD and CEO of NSE, was steered by a yogi dwelling in the Himalayan ranges in the appointment of Anand Subramanian as the exchange’s group operating officer and adviser to the MD, according to a SEBI order. Further, Ramkrishna gave “frequent, arbitrary and disproportionate” increases in compensation to Subramanian when there was no evidence of any performance evaluation being done for him and nor was there any evidence to satisfy the rating of A+ given to him for giving such high increment.
Apart from this, Ramkrishna had shared certain internal confidential information including financial and business plans of NSE, dividend scenario and financial results with the yogi and even consulted him over the performance appraisals of the exchange’s employees.
This was revealed by SEBI in its final order passed on Friday against Ramkrishna and others.
Ramkrishna, who was the managing director and CEO of NSE from April 2013 to December 2016, referred to the yogi as “Sironmani” and the yogi as a spiritual force who had been guiding her for the past 20 years on personal and professional matters.
The unknown person or yogi according to Ramkrishna was a “spiritual force that could manifest itself anywhere it wanted and did not have any physical or locational coordinates and largely dwelt in the Himalayan range”.
In its 190-page order, SEBI found that the yogi guided her to appoint Subramanian, who was delegated substantial power of management akin to the powers granted to MD and CEO.
Subramanian was offered to join NSE in the role of chief strategic adviser from April 2013 for an annual compensation of Rs 1.68 crore. Prior to this, he had worked in Balmer and Lawrie in a middle-level management with zero exposure to capital markets and was drawing less than Rs 15 lakh per annum as of March 2013.