my exchanges and help NSE: Jignesh Shah on NSEL scam Mumbai, Feb 20 (PTI) Playing the victim card again, 63 Moons Technologies founder Jignesh Shah Wednesday alleged that former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has “abused” his powers to destroy the spot exchange NSEL that he founded with the “malafide” intention to help the largest equity bourse NSE.

Earlier this week, 63 Moons had served legal notices to Chidambaram, KP Krishnan, the former additional secretary at the finance ministry in-charge of the capital markets, and former Forward Markets Commission (FMC) chairman Ramesh Abhishek, seeking damages worth Rs 10,000 crore in connection with the NSEL scam.

“This is a case of abusing power with the malafide intention of killing NSEL. There was a conspiracy to eliminate us from the exchange space,” Shah told a select media.

The Rs 5,600-crore NSEL (National Spot Exchange) scam refers to the payment crisis arising from under-delivery/non- delivery of physical commodities that investors booked for at the godowns of the spot exchange. The crisis blew itself out on July 31, 2013 and subsequently the exchange was shuttered by the government.

The NSEL was the first and the only commodity spot exchange in the country and was fully-owned by Shah’s Financial Technologies.

The crisis led to the arrest and jailing of Shah in May 2014 and also the loss of complete control on all of his nearly half a dozen exchanges, mostly commex, and also the first equity bourse Metropolitan Exchange propped up by an private corporate entity.

He alleged that despite Chidambaram, who was the then finance minister when the NSEL crisis broke out, saying it was a private case and so should be dealt with by the company and the stakeholders, why was it not settled by the FMC? The FMC was subsequently merged with the capital markets watchdog Sebi.

“Why was the matter dragged on for five years when in the very first meeting convened on August 4, 2013 by Abhishek with NSEL officials, brokers and defaulters give directives to first return the public money? Why so many committees were set up? Why did so many state agencies get involved?,” he asked.

Shah further alleged that Chidambaram had approved a note from Krishnan forcing other co-promoters of larger rival NCDEX to sell their stakes to the NSE, which clearly reveals their mala fide intensions.

“The finance minister and the secretary who are supposed to do justice have killed all our exchanges. We were trading in all businesses possible like commodities, electricity, currencies, spot, tech, among others and were successful within a few years. But with our exit, NSE has benefitted in all these verticals,” Shah claimed.

He further said of the Rs 5,600-crore payment towards the NSEL scam, Rs 600 crore have already been paid to genuine investors. Then there is a court order to pay another Rs 3,600 crore, and an additional Rs 1,000 crore of payments are in the pipeline as well.

“The recent report by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on the NSEL scam has given us a breather and put the spotlight on the defaulting brokers, traders and the executive management of the spot exchange. I am ready to walk the trial path and I have requested a chargesheet to be filed and begin the trial,” Shah added.

He further noted that the investigation made so far by the EoW, CBI and ED against NSEL and its parent company the now-defunct Financial Technologies has clearly established that the entire money trail has been traced to 22 defaulting broker members of NSEL.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.