Capital markets regulator Sebi has penalised total 18 entities, including National Stock Exchange (NSE) and its former chief Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Varanasi in the ‘dark fibre’ case. The regulator has imposed a penalty of Rs 7 crore on NSE and Rs 5 crore each on Ramkrishna and Varanasi. Besides, a fine of Rs 5 crore has been levied on Subramanian Anand.
Further, Sebi has slapped a fine of Rs 6 crore on Way2Wealth Brokers, Rs 5 crore on GKN Securities and Rs 3 crore on Sampark Infotainment.They have been asked to pay the total amount of penalty within 45 days, according to a Sebi order passed on Tuesday.The case relates to the alleged differential access given to certain broking firms in the form of ‘dark fibre’ at NSE, to connect across the colocation facilities before other members.
A dark fibre or unlit fibre, with respect to network connectivity, refers to an already laid but unused or passive optical fibre, which is not connected to active electronics/equipment and do not have other data flowing through them and available for use in fibre-optic communication. Sebi initiated investigation with respect to the dealings of the several entities, for the period 2009 to 2016 to investigate into the matter of providing connectivity to certain stock brokers by NSE in a manner which may be detrimental to the investors or the securities market.
“W2W (Way2Wealth) and GKN, in collusion with the employees of NSE and Sampark made significant profit due to unfair latency advantage available with them,” Sebi said in its 186-page order. Others penalised by Sebi are Nagendra Kumar SRVS, Deviprasad Singh, and MR Shashibhushan, Prashanth D’souza, Om Prakash Gupta, Sonali Gupta, Rahul Gupta, Netaji Patil, Rima Srivastava, Parshant Mittal, Mohit Mutreja.