NSE officials move SAT against SEBI’s co-location order

Mumbai: National Stock Exchange’s (NSE) senior officials have filed an appeal with the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against their reprimand by market regulator SEBI in the bourse’s co-location case.

The three senior NSE employees — Ravi Varanasi, Head of Business Development Function, Nagendra Kumar, Head of Membership Department and Deviprasad Singh, Head of Colo Support — moved SAT against SEBI’s order on them in the NSE’s co-location case dealing with the ‘Dark Fibre’ issue.

The development assumes significance as on April 30, the market regulator, in a marathon five orders in the co-location case, came down heavily on the NSE.

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) directed the NSE to deposit a sum of Rs 62.58 crore plus interest for unfair trade practice that allowed the usage of “Dark Fibre” in the co-location case.

In technical parlance, a dark fibre refers to an already laid but unused or passive optical fibre which is not connected to active equipment and does not have other data flowing through them and available for use in fibre-optic communication.

The misuse of the bourse’s co-location facility came to light in 2015 when a whistleblower alleged collusion between a few employees of the stock exchange and brokers.

It was alleged that collusion and lax of oversight allowed a few brokers faster access to market data.

In one of the orders the regulator directed the NSE to disgorge Rs 624.89 crore in the co-location case and also barred it from accessing the securities market directly or indirectly for a period of six months.


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