Recently, the media reported a property deal by the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to acquire 80,000 sq ft of land at Rs120 crore from Unmesh Joshi, son of former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi. Although the reports appeared on 14th May, the Exchange did not feel the need to clarify its acquisition, leading to speculation about why it acquired land a fair distance from the massive NSEExchangePlaza at the upmarket Bandra-Kurla Complex, where it has surplus space that is hired out to outsiders.
When Moneylife sent a list of questions to the NSE, it reacted with outrage. However, such details as it shared are completely different from the 24-odd news reports posted on the Internet. The NSE says that it has entered into a purchase agreement with Kohinoor Planet Constructions Pvt Ltd for purchase of around 28,000 sq ft. It refuses to quote the price, but says it is ‘significantly’ lower than the Rs15,000 per sq ft mentioned in the news reports and in our email. For the first time, it also clarifies the purpose of the acquisition, which is to “accommodate our expanding technology infrastructure needs including near back-up Data Centre which needs to be away from the main Data Centre at BKC as per international norms.” The NSE, as an unlisted company, does not need to make disclosures like listed companies. Also, although it is a first-level regulator, it refuses to submit to the Right to Information Act and has challenged in the Delhi High Court an order of the Chief Information Commissioner declaring that the Act was applicable to the NSE.