Mumbai: Market regulator SEBI has directed the National Stock Exchange of India to disgorge Rs 624.89 crore for fraudulent and unfair trade practices in the co-location case.

According to the regulator’s order, NSE has also been barred from accessing the securities market directly or indirectly for a period of six months.

Speculation is rife that after the six-month period, NSE can enter the securities market with an IPO.

The fraudulent practices came to light in 2015 when a whistleblower alleged collusion between a few employees of the stock exchange and brokers.

It was alleged that subversion and lax oversight allowed a few brokers faster access to market data.

As per the order, the amount along with interest calculated at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from April 1, 2014 onwards will be used for Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF).

The order also directs Ravi Narain, former MD and CEO of NSE to disgorge 25 per cent each of their salary drawn for FY 2010-11 to 2012-13 and Chitra Ramkrishna, another former MD and CEO of NSE to disgorge 25 per cent of her salary drawn for FY 2013-14.