NEW DELHI: Capital markets regulator Sebi has imposed a penalty totalling Rs 44 crore on 18 entities, including the National Stock Exchange (NSE), its former chiefs Ravi Varanasi, Chitra Ramkrishna and her adviser Subramanian Anand along with certain stock brokers 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 levied a fine of Rs 1 crore each on Nagendra Kumar SRVS and Deviprasad Singh and 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.
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 does not have other data flowing through them and is available for use in fibre-optic communication.
Sebi initiated an investigation with respect to the dealings of several entities, for the period 2009 to 2016 to investigate 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 a significant profit due to unfair latency advantage available with them," Sebi said in its 186-page order.
Others penalised by Sebi are -- MR Shashibhushan (Rs 1 crore), Prashanth D'souza (Rs 1.1 crore), Om Prakash Gupta (Rs 1.1 crore), Sonali Gupta (Rs 1.1 crore), Rahul Gupta (Rs 1.1 crore). Besides, a fine of Rs 10 lakh each was imposed on Netaji Patil, Rima Srivastava, Parshant Mittal and Mohit Mutreja.