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'Dark fibre' case: Sebi fines one more person

July 01, 2022 16:02 IST

Capital markets regulator Sebi has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on Jayant Bhusare, who was one of the executive of Sampark Infotainment, in a case pertaining to the irregularities in the NSE's 'Dark Fibre' case.

Sebi

Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

He has been directed to pay the fine within 45 days, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in its order.

On Tuesday, the regulator had levied a fine totaling Rs 44 crore on 18 entities, including NSE, Sampark, certain brokers and their respective past and present employees in the same matter.

 

The Dark Fibre case saw certain brokers taking due advantage of the National Stock Exchange's (NSE's) internet infrastructure to get faster connectivity to its colocation facilities.

The case relates to the alleged differential access given to certain broking firms in the form of 'dark fibre' at NSE, to connect across the co-location facilities before other members.

A dark fibre or unlit fibre, with respect to network connectivity, refers to an already laid but unused or passive optical fibre, which is not connected to active electronics and does not have other data flowing through them and available for use in fibre-optic communication.

It was alleged that Sampark arranged the cabling in the co-location rack of NSE in such a manner that some stock brokers had lower latency compared to other trading members connected to Sampark.

In its order, Sebi noted that Bhusare had deleted certain emails pertaining to the investigation period from the server of Sampark due to the fear of being investigated by the markets regulator.

Deleting such emails pertaining to investigation would tantamount to destruction of records, it added.

"The aforesaid activity of the noticee (Bhusare) wherein he deleted the emails from the server, admittedly, due to the fear of being investigated by Sebi has hampered the investigation process," the regulator said in its order passed on Wednesday.

Accordingly, Sebi imposed "monetary penalty of Rs 10 lakh on the noticee -- Jayant Bhusare -- under the provisions of the... Sebi Act".

Sebi on receipt of various complaints alleging irregularities in the matter of co-location and corporate governance at NSE initiated investigation with respect to the dealings of the several entities, for the period 2009 to 2016, to investigate into the matter of providing connectivity to certain stock brokers by the exchange in a manner which may be detrimental to the investors.

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