Anjani Sinha, former MD and CEO of National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) has retracted from his earlier affidavit and blamed the board of the exchange for the Rs 5,600 crore payments crisis.
In his second affidavit filed on Friday, Sinha said he had been made to sign the first affidavit in which he blamed himself for the entire scandal under “duress” by the board members. “He has not named anyone by name but mentions the board. The affidavits have very little evidential value,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, Additional Commissioner, Economic Offences Wing (EOW).
Sinha, who was produced before a magistrate on Friday, was remanded to police custody until October 31, while Jai Bahukhandi, AVP-warehousing and Amit Mukherjee, AVP-business development, were remanded to police custody until October 23.
NSEL vice chairman Jignesh Shah is facing a show-cause notice from the Forward Markets Commission regarding the “fit & proper” status as promoter of his flagship commodities exchange MCX.
Sinha has now claimed that the NSEL board was always in the know of the wrongdoing at the exchange and that he was forced to take the blame on his head.
Responding to Sinha’s U-turn, an official of the NSEL said, “The allegations made against the NSEL board members including Jignesh Shah and Joseph Massey should not be taken at face value. The matter is under investigation and we cannot comment further.”
Sinha has stated in his affidavit that he did not have full authority to take crucial decisions and that the board and the promoters were responsible for the lack of proper systems at the exchange.
“We have been recording statements of Sinha. We will also cross-examine it on the basis of what Shah and Bahukhandi say, and with that of the defaulters. We are also checking NSEL’s books to tally whether the amount that the defaulters owe them tallies with their own records,” Rajvardhan said.
After getting permission from the Mumbai Collector to charge the accused under the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors Act, the EOW will begin attaching the assets of the defaulters.