Illegal Phone Tapping Case: CBI names ex-Mumbai top cop, ex-NSE executives

Former Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, his company iSEC and former top NSE executives Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramakrishna were named in the CBI charge sheet

NEW DELHI | Updated: 23 December, 2022 7:47 pm IST
Former NSE top executives Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet in a Delhi court on Friday against former National Stock Exchange (NSE) CEOs Chitra Ramkrishna, Ravi Narain, former Mumbai police commissioner and former director of iSEC Services Private Ltd. Sanjay Pandey and other top executives in connection with the NSE phone-tapping case.

CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said that besides Ramakrishna, Narain and Pandey; the agency has named Naman Chaturvedi, then Senior Information Security Analyst of iSEC; Jagdish Tukaram Dalvi of iSEC and officials of the NSE – Ravi Varanasi, then Executive Vice President; Mahesh Haldipur, then Head (Premises); Anand Subramanian, then Group Operating Officer; SB Thosar, then OSD and Bhupesh Mistry, then Manager (Premises).

The CBI registered a case on July 7 this year against iSEC Services Pvt Ltd and others.

Joshi said that during the investigation of another case related to the colocation scam at NSE, an act of illegal interception of landline phones of NSE employees was unearthed.

The CBI official said that to maintain secrecy, the work order was allegedly issued to the private company in the name of “conducting a periodic study of cyber vulnerabilities.”

It was also claimed that in 2012, the aforementioned private company purchased and installed a 4 X PRI Quad Span Digital Voice Logger in the basement of NSE by splitting the MTNL PRI lines.

“This logger was capable of recording 120 calls simultaneously,” Joshi said.

Employees of said private company were granted unauthorised access to NSE premises in order for them to listen to these calls and submit weekly reports to NSE officials — first the Executive Vice President, then the Head (Premises).

The reports in turn were being shown on a regular basis to the MD and then the DMD/MD of NSE. He stated that the work order of said private company was renewed every year from 2009 to 2017.

Joshi said, “During the probe, it was found that Pandey, who was also Director of iSEC, while working as a police officer, was allegedly managing the affairs of said company.

“The NSE ended up paying ₹4.54 crores in eight years to iSEC for carrying out such illegal interception of NSE employees in the name of a cyber vulnerability study,” Joshi said.

The call records of hundreds of NSE employees were allegedly kept in the custody of iSEC and the entire interception was done without the knowledge or consent of the NSE board and NSE employees.

Earlier, the CBI had arrested Pandey, Ramakrishna and Narain.

In January 2015, a whistleblower wrote a complaint to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), alleging that some brokers who leased space at the NSE co-location facility, were able to log into the NSE systems with better hardware specifications while engaging in algorithmic trading.

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