The Bombay High Court has summoned former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and top serving bureaucrats, K.P. Krishnan and Ramesh Abhishek, in connection with Rs 10,000 crore damage suits filed by 63 moons technologies, formerly known as Financial Technologies Ltd (FTIL), and their role in engineering the NSEL payment default crisis.
The Bombay High Court has asked the three to remain present in the court on October 15.
“You are hereby required to file in this Hon’ble Court an appearance in person and a written statement for your defence and serve a copy of the written statement on the plaintiff within 12 weeks from the service of this summons on you,” said the Bombay High Court order, dated July 24.
63 moons filed a Rs 10,000 crore damage suit against Chidambaram, Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development, and Ramesh Abhishek, then Chairman of Forward Market Commission (FMC), and now the outgoing Secretary, Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT), stating that the company has been facing continuous targeted and mala fide actions in the wake of an engineered payment default crisis at one of its subsidiaries, the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
According to the lawsuits, there is no money trail traced to NSEL, 63 moons and its founder Jignesh Shah by multiple investigative agencies. However, the group has been singularly targeted as part of a conspiracy by Chidambaram, Krishnan and Abhishek who wanted to protect the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in which they had vested interests. These malicious actions perpetrated against 63 moons caused a damage of Rs 10,000 crore to its shareholders.
During his presentation to the media on the NSEL saga in February this year, 63 moons mentor Jignesh Shah had said Abhishek, as FMC Chairman, played a proactive role in perpetrating the NSEL crisis, destroying the exchange eco-system created by 63 moons to favour NSE, resulting in a huge damage to the shareholders of 63 moons, loss of employment and incomes in the economy.
As a result, 63 moons had filed the damage suits of Rs 10,000 crore against Chidambaram, Krishnan and Abhishek, in their individual capacities for taking mala fide actions against it by abusing their powers. Notably, the company has also filed criminal complaints against these three individuals with the CBI along with supporting material.
The legal filings noted that the sequence of events and the evidence that surfaced so far also showed that the then Finance Minister Chidambaram and Krishnan played a dubious role in destroying the ecosystem created by 63 moons technologies to favour the competitor NSE.
“A case in point is the note of K. P. Krishnan approved by P. Chidambaram forcing other co-promoters of NCDEX to sell their stake to make NSE a lead promoter clearly revealing their mala fide interference in the competition within the exchange industry. This hounding of 63 moons technologies group has not only caused serious loss to its investors but has done irreversible damage to the entire exchange eco-system, the existing jobs and creation of new jobs,” it added.
In his media briefing early this year, 63 moons Chairman Venkat Chary had pointed out that the FMC was aware of the role of certain big brokers and HNI traders. However, it acted in a partisan manner only against the NSEL and its parent, 63 moons.
For example, the FMC was mandated under the law to communicate information relating to illegal forward trading to police authorities. However, no such information was forwarded by the FMC against the brokers and the traders. Thus, there was a clear dereliction of duty and misuse of official position on the part of the then FMC chairman, Abhishek, in selectively targeting the parent company of NSEL, despite no money trail to them.
Jignesh Shah has said it was not a crisis but a conspiracy to decimate the FTIL Group. The Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis at NSEL came into light in July 2013.