The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that a firm linked to former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey snooped on as many as 91 office-bearers of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on the directions of its then Managing Director Chitra Ramkrishna, sources said.
The agency Thursday booked Pandey and arrested Ramkrishna in a money-laundering case linked to alleged phone tapping.
“We are interrogating Ramkrishna as it was on her directions that the tapping was done by Pandey’s company. We want to know the motive behind tapping the phones of so many NSE office-bearers,” an ED official said.
Sources said the agency has found documentary and electronic evidence to show that phones of 91 NSE employees had been tapped by Pandey’s company, iSec Services Pvt Ltd. According to these sources, the agency has found transcripts and voice recordings — most of the conversations are about information on stocks and the functioning of the NSE.
iSec Services was incorporated in March 2001. Pandey was not in service at that time. He quit the directorship in May 2006, with his mother Santosh and son Armaan becoming directors.
“However, it was Pandey who was running the company all along. Almost all correspondence between iSec and top officials of NSE are through Pandey’s email ID,” another ED official said.
The agency had questioned Pandey on July 5 in connection with the 2018 case of the alleged manipulation of NSE — a separate case in which some brokers were alleged to have made windfall profits by manipulating the co-location facility of the bourse in connivance with top NSE officials.
The current ED case is based on a CBI FIR registered recently against Pandey, his company, and others, including Ramkrishna.
Seeking Ramkrishna’s remand Thursday, the ED told the court of Special Judge Sunena Sharma that a Rs 4.54 crore payment to iSec for the phone tapping was agreed upon by NSE officials including Ramkrishna and iSec representatives.
The ED told court, “The work orders/contracts/agreements were processed by Chitra Ramkrishna during her tenure as Deputy Managing Director and Managing Director of NSE. During the entire period of offence i.e. from 01.01.2009 till 13.02.2017, Ms Chitra Ramkrishna was holding the position of either Deputy Managing Director (till 2010) or Joint managing Director (till 2013) or Managing Director (till December, 2016) of NSE.”
It also alleged there was evidence to show that iSec’s work for the bourse lasted for around the same time as Ramkrishna’s stint.
“It is further averred that after she relinquished the post of Managing Director of NSE in December, 2016, the contract for so called ‘Periodic Study of Cyber Vulnerabilities of NSE’ expired on 13.02.2017and was never renewed subsequently, thus proving that the said illegal activity was co-terminus with her holding key position as Joint Managing Director/Managing Director of NSE,” ED said.