NSE snooping case: Ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner denied bail by Delhi Court

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Delhi Court denies bail to ex-police commissioner of Mumbai. The commissioner– Sanjay Pandey was in the custody of the ED pertaining to the tapping of phones of NSE employees.

On Thursday, 4th of August, a Delhi court denied bail to an ex-police commissioner of Mumbai. Sanjay Pandey, the commissioner, was in custody pertaining to his alleged involvement in tapping the phones of employees of the National Stock Exchange.

Pandey was arrested and taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate on the 19th of July. He was in their custody for interrogation for nine days. Afterwhich, he was sent to judicial custody.

He has been sentenced to judicial custody till the 16th of August.

Delhi Court’s decision against the ex – commissioner’s plea.

According to reports, special Judge Sunena Sharma, on Wednesday, reserved her order on the commissioner’s bail plea. In Pandey’s defense, he argued that he was simply an informer who identified and reported suspicious activities in the NSE.

Pandey’s lawyer, Advocate Tanvir Ahmed Mir stated that Pandey was tasked with the job of flagging any calls that show signs of illegal activity.

Further, Pandey added that the NSE employees were betting in the IPL (Indian Premier League) and he flagged those. He then goes on to ask the court what wrong he committed when he was simply carrying out his duties.

Moreover, Pandey said that the instruments and tools used to tap the phones were installed on the National Stock Exchange in the year 2012. He also said that a company called “Nexus” installed the instruments. Pandey also claimed that the tapping of phones and recording of calls was done by many other governments as well as banks, at the time.

He argued that if those aren’t treated as offenses there then they shouldn’t be treated as offenses here. Moreover, he said that “snooping” on calls was done everywhere. This included the West Bengal State Distribution company. He also said that SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) demands to record all calls.

Concurrently, the Additional Solicitor, General SV Raju, who was before the court at the behest of the Enforcement Directorate, said that despite his argument, Pandey had not challenged the FIR in this case.

Additionally, he said that the Securities and Exchange Board of India does not say that private conversations are to be recorded. The SEBI has no authority to tamper with personal conversations or MTNL lines.

What is the snooping case and how was the commissioner involved?

The Enforcement Directorate had taken Pandey into custody on the charges of money laundering on the 14th of July. The ED charges him as well as other former chiefs of the National Stock Exchange, namely, Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain.

This case is in connection to the alleged tapping of phones of National Stock Exchange employees. This was around the same time as a co-location scam was taking place. The Central Bureau of Investigation claimed that Sanjay Pandey was key in setting up a company called iSec Securities. This company was typically used for electronic surveillance of employees.

Alternatively, the co-location scam is with regard to allegations of privileged access to the NSE trading platform. This permitted certain brokers to trade even before markets opened up. In 2018, an FIR was filed in this case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has already booked and arrested Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain– the former managing directors and chief executive officers of the NSE, pertaining to the co-location scam.

Initially, the Enforcement Directorate interrogated Sanjay Pandey on the 5th of July for its investigation of possible money laundering happening in the co-location. On the 30th of June, he retired as Mumbai Police commissioner. Up until then, he was considered an upstanding cop.

Pandey’s company– iSec Securities was just one of the firms that were given the task to conduct security inspections into the National Stock Exchange during the years 2010 to 2015. According to the CBI, iSec Securities failed to inform NSE that their servers were compromised.


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Josanne Roberts
Josanne Roberts
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