Two months after registering a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe granting sanction to Jignesh Shah-founded Financial Technologies (India) and MCX-SX, CBI today quizzed former SEBI chairman C B Bhave and plans to investigate the complete process of allowing Shah's bourse to function as a full-fledged private stock exchange.
The CBI move to investigate the complete process of regularisation of Shah's exchange may now include examining of present chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) U K Sinha as well, official sources said.
"I welcome that they were not picking and choosing and were looking at the entire time up to 2013," Bhave told PTI while reacting to CBI's questioning which took place in Bangalore.
Bhave had a bone to pick up with the visiting CBI team when he told them that the agency's "leak about the PE focused just on me and (another former SEBI member K M) Abraham and a deliberate impression was created that CBI investigation related only to the period during which Abraham and I were there."
"The CBI clarified that they would look at those extensions as well. They were limiting their questions to me for the period that I was there," he said.
Bhave was examined by a team of CBI officers two months after the agency registered a PE against him, another former member K M Abraham and FTIL and MCX-SX, among others.
Bhave denied any quid pro quo as alleged by CBI for grant of permission to the bourse and said "there was not a single question to me on quid pro quo. They wanted to understand the public interest involved in granting the licence to MCX-SX to trade in currency derivatives."
They also wanted to know if any undue pecuniary benefit to Jignesh Shah entities was the result of this decision, he said.
Bhave, a 1975 batch IAS officer from Maharashtra, was quizzed three days after Abraham was examined by CBI last Friday. He was SEBI Chairman in February 2008 and his three- year term ended in February 2011. Abraham's term as a whole- time member of SEBI also ended in 2011.