Ashok Chawla quits as NSE chief after CBI gets nod for probe

The Hindu Business Line - - FRONT PAGE - PALAK SHAH

Ashok Chawla on Fri­day re­signed as the Chair­man of the Na­tional Stock Ex­change (NSE) after the CBI got the Fi­nance Min­istry’s nod to pros­e­cute him in the Air­cel-Maxis bribery scan­dal.

Chawla is an ac­cused along with for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram in the CBI chargesheet. The NSE, in a state­ment, said Chawla had re­signed with im­me­di­ate ef­fect “in light of re­cent le­gal de­vel­op­ments.”

Con­flict of in­ter­est

Busi­nessLine re­ported on Jan­uary 10 that Chawla’s fate as NSE chief was in ques­tion. He was ap­pointed NSE Chair­man in 2016, be­fore which he was Chair­man of the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia. On Au­gust 18 last year, Busi­nessLine had also re­ported about a con­flict of in­ter­est in Chawla’s role as NSE Chair­man and as a key board mem­ber of Jet Air­ways after the ex­change started ques­tion­ing the air­line about its financials.

A few months ago, Chawla had to re­sign as non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Ashok Chawla of YES Bank, cit­ing per­sonal rea­sons.

Chi­dambaram is ac­cused of cor­rup­tion in pass­ing the AircelMaxis deal as the coun­try’s Fi­nance Min­is­ter. Any deal worth more than ₹600 crore has to be taken to the Cab­i­net for ap­proval but the ₹3,600-crore AircelMaxis deal was not routed there. Chi­dambaram claimed that he was ad­vised by bu­reau­crats to do so. Chawla had served as the Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Chi­dambaram.

For­mer Un­der-Sec­re­tary for Eco­nomic Af­fairs Ashok Ku­mar Jha and cur­rently serv­ing IAS of­fi­cers, Joint Sec­re­tary Ku­mar San­jay Kr­ishna, Di­rec­tor Deepak Ku­mar Singh and Un­der-Sec­re­tary Ram Sha­ran, are also said to have aided Chi­dambaram in pass­ing the deal and are named as ac­cused in the CBI chargesheet filed in June 2018. un­der

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