In the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) co-location case, noted academician Ajay Shah, Infotech Financial Services, and two of its directors have been reprimanded by the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), for misusing the exchange’s trading data for commercial gains.
The data which was collected on the pretext of the Liquidity Index Project, was eventually used by Shah and his Sister-in-law Sunita Thomas for developing algo trading products for sale in securities market, according to the SEBI.
Hence, SEBI has directed the NSE to take necessary legal actions against Shah and also review all its- third party agreements having a data-sharing component.
The SEBI stated in its order, “To sum it up, all the noticees were collectively responsible for misuse of the data received from NSE… the underlying intention of the noticees behind entering into said agreement was not monetary consideration, but to have access to the exclusive wealth of data of NSE, so that the same can be commercially exploited for the benefit of the noticees”.
“The aforesaid leads to a conclusion that noticee no. 1 (Shah) and other noticees, have collusively worked to fulfil their commercial goals by fraudulently using the data that was obtained by them from NSE to develop algo trading software”, SEBI added.
SEBI also charged Shah for violating its Prevention of Fraud and Unfair Trade (PFUTP) norms and barred him from having association with any market infrastructure institute, listed company or registered intermediary for a period of two years.
Shah and his wife Susan Thomas have been in associated with NSE since 1994. They have been credited for co-creating the NSE Nifty 50 index.