The CBI on Thursday opposed the bail plea by National Stock Exchange's (NSE) former group operating officer (GOO) Anand Subramanian in the co-location scam case.
Special Public Prosecutor Anupam S Sharma said that the former NSE official's role in the case was part of a "larger conspiracy" and sought permission from Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain to advance detailed submissions on July 8 when the bail plea of co-accused and former NSE boss Chitra Ramkrishna is also listed.
In its status report filed in response to the bail plea, the agency asserted that economic offences constitute a class apart as they affect the economy and pose a serious threat to the financial health of the country and thus a different approach is required in such cases.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Subramanian, argued that no purpose would be achieved by the continued incarceration of his client who has spent more than four months in jail in the case which was registered four years ago.
The FIR was registered in May 2018, amid fresh revelations about irregularities at the country's largest stock exchange.
CBI is probing the alleged improper dissemination of information from the computer servers of the market exchanges to the stock brokers.
The former GOO was arrested by the CBI on February 24 and was remanded to custodial interrogation. He was sent to judicial custody on March 9.
The trial court had rejected Subramanian's bail applications twice on May 12 and March 24.
The senior lawyer said neither Subramanian is named in the FIR nor is connected with the allegations in it and the probe against him concerning his alleged improper appointment was over.
He contended that an "incomplete charge sheet" was filed by the agency in the case "just to scuttle his right" of mandatory bail in case of non-filing of the charge sheet.
The investigating agency, in the status report, said that the investigation has established that co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna abused her official position at NSE to illegally appoint the petitioner as Chief Strategic Advisor and also arbitrarily and disproportionately hiked his compensation and re-designated him as GOO without requisite approvals.
"It is a settled principle of law that economic offences constitute a class apart having deep-rooted conspiracies involving huge loss of public funds, affecting the economy of the country as a whole posing serious threat to the financial health of the country and is required to be visited with a different approach in a matter of bail," the status report said.
"On the basis of the evidence collected during the course of the investigation it has been established that Petitioner and co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna entered into a criminal conspiracy and in pursuance, to the same co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna abused her official position as Joint MD as well as MD of NSE to illegally and arbitrarily appoint Petitioner as Chief Strategic Advisor to MD.
"In pursuance to the criminal conspiracy, co-accused Chitra Ramkrishna arbitrarily and disproportionately hiked the compensation of Petitioner and re-designated him as Group Operating Officer without taking approval of Nomination and Remuneration Committee or Board," it stated.
Ramkrishna was the MD and CEO of the NSE from April 2013 to December 2016.
The agency further claimed that the co-accused Ramkrishna was communicating with an external email-id being operated by the petitioner and an examination of witnesses is being carried out to unearth the whole conspiracy in the case.
CBI said that the petitioner is highly influential and is capable of influencing the witnesses and if enlarged on bail, he may destroy emails and digital evidence.
Senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that the alleged external email-id did not belong to him and since all evidence was documentary in nature, there can be no apprehension of tampering.
The report informed that further investigation in the case is pending and sanction for prosecution of the petitioner and the co-accused Ramkrishna, who have committed offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, has been received from the competent authority.