The Bombay High Court passed a damning judgement against NSE for filing frivolous complaints against MoneyLife magazine.
Some excerpts from the landmark judgement:
Ms. Dalal emailed the Chairman of SEBI with a copy to the two persons at the helm of the NSE’s affairs, Mr. Ravi Narayan and Ms. Chitra Ramakrishan, persons who have been in those positions for a very long time indeed and who can reasonably be supposed to be au courant with the NSE’s dealings, processes and affairs, seeking their response to the anonymous letter, with a copy of it. 9 There was no answer. Nothing in the nature of what is stated now in paragraph 18A was returned to Ms. Dalal. She sent a reminder a few days later on 15th June 2015.10 This too met with silence. The next day she sent an SMS to Mr. Ravi Narayan and Ms. Chitra Ramakrishan asking specifically whether the NSE had anything to say on these emails.Again: no response.
In the plaint itself, a very curious picture is attempted to be portrayed of the NSE as an organization that is, by its own telling of it, incapable of any mistake or any wrongdoing.
There are suggestions, for example, that algorithmic trading is regulated by circulars, that there are recommendations of technical advisory committees, that the financial stability report of the RBI is sufficient control over the operations of the NSE and that, there is, therefore, never a question that can be raised against the NSE. This is the distinct impression that one gets from a reading of the plaint and it seems strangely like a claim to the kind of infallibility best left to divinities not mortal institutions; and, as our mythology tells us, even our divinities have their foibles and failings.
The NSE expects respect. That is to be earned. It is not to be torn out of the throats of public the NSE is meant to serve.
The NSE is after all a public institution and it is in some sense or the other a custodian if not of public funds then at least of an undeniable public trust. This demands, I think, the most complete transparency, accountability and openness in its actions, dealing and operations. I include in this its duty to respond in a measured fashion to a question that has been placed in a measured fashion. It has no duty to respond to a wild or reckless allegation.
But when a person, having made some enquiries, and herself having something of an established track record, makes a politely worded and pointed enquiry, not to respond to it seems to me either to be an example of the most egregious hubris and arrogance or, alternatively, an admission that there is an element of truth in what was being said. There is no third alternative.
The suit and the NSE’s conduct seem to me attempts at deflection and evasion. I also believe this entire action to be a gross abuse of the process of this Court. The NSE seems to have taken it more or less for granted that our Courts are too easily cowed by self-congratulatory assertions and overblown claims of rectitude to even consider refusing their claim. This is an approach that must be deprecated.
Our Courts are not to be treated as playgrounds for imagined and imaginary slights for those who command considerable resources.
The arrogant and vindictive attitude of the NSE makes it clear that the rot starts from the top.
Hence ,in the public interest, Ravi Narain,Vice-Chariman of NSE and Chitra Ramkrishna, MD & CEO of NSE,ought to resign.