CB Bhave: PE in MCX-SX could be a diversion away from real culprits in NSEL case

Mar 31 2014, 12:52 IST
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The CBI has  initiated a preliminary inquiry against former SEBI chairman C. B. Bhave and former member K M Abraham. The CBI has initiated a preliminary inquiry against former SEBI chairman C. B. Bhave and former member K M Abraham.
SummaryFormer Sebi chief CB Bhave says public spectacle could have avoided if CBI had first got in touch with him.

they chose to go to the media first. They float various theories, some on condition of anonymity. The latest one is that the currency derivatives licence to MCX-SX is connected to the loss caused to the investors in NSEL. This is as outlandish as it can get. There were murmurs, initially, that the entire proposal was processed by us in the space of one day. I do not hear much of that now. CBI must have seen the original file and realised that the matter was processed at different levels for more than a month.

Since the CBI would have needed some information from Sebi and we believe they did, wasn’t there space for Sebi to have clarified the air on MCX-SX licence?

I would not know what transpired between the CBI and Sebi. You may have more information. Some people told me that Sebi wrote to the Central Vigilance Commission that the matter was approved in a day. I do not believe it. When Sebi has all the papers why would Sebi mislead CVC? Sebi pulls up companies if they give misleading information to investors in the prospectus or as a part of listing requirements. Why would Sebi damage its own credibility by misleading another governmental agency? But if Sebi did mislead CVC or CBI, that would be a very serious issue, indeed.

Of the three chairmen of Sebi who examined the MCX-SX matter, why is it that you are the only person who has been named in the PE?

I would again not know. It is arbitrary. The whole procedure is absurd. I do not understand what public purpose is served by naming people at the PE stage especially if CBI itself says that it closes 60 per cent of the PEs. An arm of the government, which has the authority to use the coercive power of the state must be conscious of the care with which such matters need to be handled. I do not know if this is merely a diversion away from the real culprits behind the NSEL issue.

The issues are being raised now when a general election is happening. Do you see a connection?

I really can’t. I have no connection with elections except as an interested citizen of this country.

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