Part 1 of this series is called Entrenchment. Part 2 talks about How Ajay Shah shaped the narrative. Part 3 details how he created a little world of friends and relatives, to ensure wins for the stakeholders. This is Part 4.
In the garb of an academic
I always believe in letting the subject I write about to air his/ her side of the story. I reached out to Ajay Shah and gave him an opportunity to air his responses to this series on him and he declined, saying that he won’t write. He added further that he is a humble academic and wants to stay in his work. A quick look at this 7-page resume may convince you otherwise.
There is another stunning coincidence – the period of scam in NSE, according to the CBI FIR is 2010-2014. The non-executive Chairman of NSE during the period 2010-12 and the current boss of Mr. Ajay Shah are one and the same.
In the garb of an Academic
Ajay Shah had access to Mint Street (RBI Headquarters), Dalal Street (Stock Exchanges) and Parliament Street (the Government). See Figure 1.
Ajay Shah had access to the policymakers in Delhi and it is alleged that he would listen to what the bigwigs in the Stock Market wanted and then shape the policy formation to suit their interests. Here are a few examples –
- In the name of research, he often wondered aloud whether a certain policy was right or wrong. In Business Standard edition of May 17, 2006, he took a dim view of Public Listing of Exchanges. The aim of this post appears to have been to run down MCX, which had just applied for permission to go public. But when NSE applied to SEBI for going public, he did not have the same reservations!
- The First Information Report (FIR) (attached at the end of this post) is very specific about the role of Ajay Shah in the High-Frequency Trading Scam. In Page 7 of the 9-page document, point 9, it states that Source further revealed that one Ajay Narottam Shah had been instrumental in exploitation of NSE TBT architecture. He had collected NSE trade data in the name of carrying out research and subsequently passed it to private persons who in turn developed an algo software named ‘Chanakya’. This software was sold to selected brokers like OPG who exploited the TBT architecture.
- It gets more interesting – who are the private persons who wrote the software? The name of the company is Infotech and one of the Directors is Sunita Thomas, the sister-in-law of Ajay Shah! Even better, she is married to Suprabhat Lala, the then trading head of NSE. This is a major source of conflict of interest!
- The FIR is interesting in whose names it has left out – for instance, in Page 3, line 5, it says Unknown officers/ officials of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), Mumbai.
There is another stunning coincidence – the period of scam in NSE, according to the CBI FIR is 2010-2014. The non-executive Chairman of NSE during the period 2010-12 and the current boss of Mr. Ajay Shah are one and the same. Shah’s boss has been writing to some powerful figures, making the pitch that Ajay Shah’s name is being tarnished and that he is pure as driven snow.
Readers can draw their own conclusions – after reading the CBI FIR, shown below:
 Anatomy of a crime P4 – Who benefited from the HFT scam? Oct 4, 2017, PGurus.com