Anand Subramanian Is the Himalayan Yogi, CBI Confirms
Moneylife Digital Team 25 February 2022
In a day of fast-moving developments, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) first arrested Anand Subramanian, former group operating officer of National Stock Exchange (NSE) and is now understood to have confirmed that he was, indeed, masquerading as the mysterious Himalayan yogi who was directing decisions of Chitra Ramkrishna, the powerful former managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO). He did this through and email ID called [email protected] and a forensic audit by Ernst & Young (E&Y) had told the market regulator with a high degree of probability that the email ID [email protected] was indeed, operated by Mr Subramanian. 
 
For some strange reason, Anant Barua, a whole-time member (WTM) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in his 192-page order issued on 11th February, had raised doubts as to the identity of the ‘yogi’ behind the email ID, without any independent effort on the regulator's part to come to a definitive conclusion. This is among the many strange aspects of the SEBI order. 
 
J Ravichandran Let Off 
 
Another, interesting aspect of the SEBI order is that J Ravichandran, who is still the group president and company secretary at NSE and was the fourth noticee in the SEBI’s show-cause notice has been let off without any explanation about why his role in hiding the fact that Mr Subramanian was a key management person (KMP) was condoned by the regulator. 
 
In fact, the SEBI order quotes Ms Ramkrishna saying, “The Statutory Compliance Team, then headed by Dr VR Narasimhan, or the Legal and Regulatory team, then headed by Mr J Ravichandran, was responsible for compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements, ought to have taken the necessary steps at the relevant time, if it was a statutory requirement to declare any person as a KMP.” 
 
The SEBI order has an elaborate discussion on the conversation between Ms Ramkrishna and the unknown yogi about Mr Ravichandran’s designation and status; moreover, like Ravi Narain, the former vice-chairman, he has not only been at NSE for over two decades but has been in charge of compliance and legal matters. The omission of any action against him has come in for discussion inside SEBI as well as among capital market circles. 
 
Dr VR Narasimhan Quits NISM 
 
In a third development, Dr VR Narasimhan, former chief regulatory and compliance officer, appears to have quit as the dean of the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) which is a capital market certification school set up by SEBI. Moneylife alone highlighted the fact that SEBI had appointed him to NISM and permitted him to continue despite a show-cause notice issued as far back as 2019. 
 
In response to our query, we were told, “SEBI doesn’t interfere in the day to day administration of NISM. Dr Narasimhan’s tenure is till April 2022 claims that NISM makes independent decisions.” The SEBI chairman heads the board of governors of NISM. The NISM website no longer lists Dr Narasimhan as its dean.
 
He was indicted by SEBI saying, “As a matter of duty, Dr Narasimhan as compliance officer under the SECC Regulations, 2012 was required to report to SEBI independently about non-compliance of SECC Regulations, 2012 with respect of the re-designation of Anand Subramanian as ‘group operating officer and advisor to MD’ which was also not done. In view of the above, it was observed that VR Narasimhan has failed to address the issue properly in line with his defined role and responsibility and made misleading and incorrect statements to SEBI on compliance with the SECC Regulations, 2012 resulting in suppression of the irregularities.”  
 
By way of background, a forensic audit by E&Y on the Colo scam had revealed, way back in 2015, that Ms Ramkrishna was sharing internal confidential information about NSE’s organisational structure, financial results and policies and seeking guidance on internal issues with an outsider whose email ID was [email protected] (it combined the names of the three vedas). 
 
An email from the so-called guru that exposes how Ms Ramkrishna acted as a mere puppet says, “Don’t worry the straw knows when to be a capillary and when NOT to. Kanchan is the straw and I will be the suction force for this and you will vomit all that is required as always.” Kanchan, referred to in the email is Subbu and the issue under discussion is how to lobby the government to permit self-listing by the NSE.
 
Most emails from this guru’s ID ([email protected]) are copied to Mr Subramanian (Subbu) whose career was closely tracked by the ‘guru’ by copying him in correspondence with Ms Ramkrishna.
 
And, yet, SEBI alone was unable to come to any final conclusion as to his identity, but still does not recommend further investigation to establish it. Instead, SEBI attempts to bury matters with paltry penalties and a meaningless order barring six entities from the capital market. 
 
SEBI’s order had observed,  “… from the record of events of the appointment of Anand Subramanian and substantial increase in his emoluments every year and the delegation of powers akin to that of MD & CEO, along with the email exchanges between Chitra Ramkrishna with the unknown person where Anand Subramanian was also a recipient, it is clear that there has been a conspiracy for the appointment and rise of Anand Subramanian in NSE. I find that this was being implemented by Chitra Ramkrishna through the unknown person who greatly favoured Anand Subramanian,” Mr Barua, the WTM of SEBI says in the order.
 
Anand Subramanian was asked to resign in October 2016 and the drama of his removal has been documented by Moneylife editors Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu in their book Absolute Power: Inside Story of the National Stock Exchange’s Amazing Success, Leading to Hubris, Regulatory Capture and Algo Scam, released in June 2021. SEBI had been sitting on this information since 2014 and has issued its order only now.
 
Mr Subramanian was arrested on Thursday night from Chennai by CBI and produced before a Delhi court which sent him to CBI custody till 6th March.

CBI sources told IANS that since he had access to the emails sent to the yogi, they suspect they can be the same. However, the agency did not officially confirm it.

Earlier in the day, the agency told the court that they needed custodial interrogation of Subramanian to confront him with seized articles and others involved in the case, and the court, accepting their argument, sent him to CBI custody.

A source told IANS that Mr Subramanian's statement was recorded for three consecutive days at Chennai, but he was found to be 'evasive'.
 
Last week, Chitra Ramkrishna, the ex-MD and CEO of NSE, was grilled by the CBI in Mumbai. On 18th February, she recorded her statement with the agency. 
 
The CBI had already issued an LoC (look out circular) against Chitra, Anand Subramanian, the former group operating officer and Ravi Narain, the ex-NSE CEO (before Chitra).
 
Read our coverage on NSE Algo Scam here https://www.moneylife.in/tags/nsealgoscam.html
 
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Comments
radhikaasb
2 years ago
Finding of CBI that Anand subramanian being d yogi raises more questions than it answers

Most imp being that if that is so, where was the need to mail him all d so called confidential data and create docy trails? He will already have access to all of it ...

The language of so called honeytrap mails is also worth looking into. To say d least, a number of times it is poor English and does not make any sense.

Considering political changes at centre, if Sebi has been dragging its feet for 6 years and at d end comes up with such incredulous order, that also raises many questions.
Nahom
2 years ago
Normally females act as honeytraps. But here Yogi acts as a honeytrap to attract a female. Anyway finally NSE Casino has become a Moneytrap for investors. Boycott NSE.
sandig108
2 years ago
How come there are so many Tambrams heading NSE. They were considered honest people but turning out to be very corrupt.
drptgiridharan
2 years ago
There is no money without life and life without money. Algo trading and colocation designed by NSE in connivance and collusion of individuals and funded institutions need a separate probe. Placing broker server near NSE server is like petrol and cigarettes together. If brokers gets fast information they can programme trading to fill their pockets. Arrests do not arrest the deep rooted malaise here. Right time to dismantle all at sebi and nse
drptgiridharan
2 years ago
This scam needs a deep scan. No matter SEBI is, the Chief over there were not doing a splendid job. Bringing out a report with support of E & Y speaks how efficiently the internal strengths of institutions lie. Lie, pure lie and damned lies were put under carpet. It is high time to stop posting and pasting retired babus as Chiefs. Everywhere this is the cult, fault and default the Govt is doing. We have in India the best and young talented. They are not IAS but definitely will show wild card and flagship if untoward happens. Money of innocent and gullible investors swindled by unscrupulous and inefficient regulators need to be fixed and shown the way be it NSE or SEBI.
Mani Sriram
2 years ago
If Subramanian is the Yogi, then who did Chitra go with for that swim in Seychelles? That should show if she knew who Yogi was. Secondly, if she shared confidential info with Yogi who happens to be Subramanian, then she gets off the hook for trading info with outsiders. In that case, no case against her?
gopalakrishnan.tv
2 years ago
The scam seems to be very deep rooted and may require an equally forceful and indepth investigation involving experts from RBI , Banks , capital markets , technology field and other enforcement agencies. The Board of Directors of both SEBI AND NSE SHOULD ALSO BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR FAILURES/ INEFFICIENCIES TO FIX THE GOVERNANCE ISSUES ON AN ONGOING BASIS. EVEN THE EXPENDITURES INCURRED FOR BOARD MEETINGS IN PARTICULAR NEED TO BE LOOKED INTO FROM THE ANGLE OF COVER UP OPERATIONS IF ANY.
ashutoshdutta0432
2 years ago
I suspect the buck will stop at finance minister at that time for spearheading this serious colocation scam through which crores of ruppes were earned. Lot more investigation needs to be done to unreveal the master mind behind the scam
sinha.satiprasad
2 years ago
Himalayan Yogi is the distraction necessary to keep attention away from massive algo scam at nse and it's beneficiaries. Like now American propaganda machineries talking of Saint Vladimir 2, Putin the Russian Tsar, etc etc to distract from real reason of NATO expansionism in Russian borders as the cause of Putin's action.
veereshmalik
2 years ago
It takes a lot of workplace dedication for the seniormost person at any organisation to keep personal aspects at home. Otherwise, whatever sport the big boss plays (golf is an example) becomes the aspirational, and as for religion or beliefs - the complete edifice starts to follow the seniormost person or the corporate line.

This is especially true in the case of "permanent" jobs where promotions and plum postings depend on how much people align themselves with the path followed by the Big Boss.

Great work, moneylife, and thanks.
bhogibhaigandhi
2 years ago
Congrats, wonderful work done for finding fraud details,save thousands investors,pray God to give more strength for doing nice job
sha79
2 years ago
Better late than never. Thanks Moneylife for covering this issue from the beginning without bias and fear.
saharaaj
2 years ago
any link of spiritual relatives with finance ministers at different times ...
they may have made money to retrieve the appointment investments ... like with hot news advertisers make money on web pages . I find ads density is high on this page must be highly viewed
saharaaj
2 years ago
relation with Himalayan Yogi is spiritual the Yogi who bought Ferrari
vaibhavdhoka
2 years ago
Our beaurocracy is most shameless strain found on this planet.SEBI could not trace Yogi email in this advance technology.
vikram.chin
Replied to vaibhavdhoka comment 2 years ago
SEBI Is the problem. All regulators always become a nodal agency for coordinating the efforts of big players who may leter be prime accused. After all, does the ordinary individual have access to meetng regulators in their ac cabins or is it the big players ? The subprime crisis in the USA is a prime example, individual borrowers don't get to meet the fed for bailouts but the big players who created and sold toxic mortgages were in touch with the regulator i.e. the Fed, before and after. In India we have uge bad debtors repeatedly while the RBI relaxes. The solution is to have free and competitive markets in which only honesty and integrity needs to be enforced by the rule of law. In the case of the financial domain specifically by the contract act.
vaibhavdhoka
Replied to vikram.chin comment 2 years ago
Inaction is biggest rogue and turning blind eye is route cause.
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