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Hindenburg Report: Supreme Court grants SEBI further time till Aug 14 to probe Adani group [Read Order]

By LawStreet News Network      18 May, 2023 10:05 PM      0 Comments
Hindenburg Report: Supreme Court grants SEBI further time till Aug 14 to probe Adani group [Read Order]

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the SEBI to complete its probe into Adani group of companies by August 14.

The top court rejected a plea for additional six months saying it can't extend the time period indefinitely.

Hearing the SEBI's application for six months additional time, a bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala told the regulator to file an updated report on August 14.

The bench also directed for sharing a copy of the report filed by the Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre committee, appointed by it, with the parties in the matter.

"The expert committee has submitted its report within the two months timeline. The proceedings shall be listed after recess on July 11. Expert committee is requested to further advise the court. The committee may take up further aspects as may be suggested, following the course of deliberations by the court," the bench said in its order.

The SEBI started its probe into the matter after a US Short Seller firm Hindenburg gave a damning report on January 25 alleged "accounting fraud" and "brazen stock manipulation" against the Adani group of companies.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for a petitioner, alleged that the SEBI has been investigating Adani for many years. It was in 2016 and then in 2021, he said, seeking a direction to the SEBI to put the findings on record.

"They are doing absolutely nothing, if Adani's shares increase tremendously, then alarm bells have to be rung. They have said in Parliament that they were investigating Adani. They have to tell us what has happened in those investigations," he said.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, appearing as a party in person, submitted the SEBI has not even apprised the court whom they have appointed to undertake the investigation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted the 2016 issue is something totally different, distinct and separate.

"They want that whatever proceedings were undertaken should be placed before court. That is not the remit but I have no problem in doing so," he said.

Mehta once again emphasised that the six-month was a compressed time for the purpose.

On Monday, the SEBI had told the court that the allegation that it has been investigating the Adani group of companies since 2016 was "factually baseless".

In an affidavit, the market regulator had said its previous investigation related to Global Depository Receipts were conducted against 51 Indian listed companies. However, no listed company of Adani Group was part of the said 51 companies.

On April 29, the SEBI moved the court seeking six-months extension of time for the purpose.

On batch of PILs filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari and others, the court had on March 2 set up a committee headed by the top court's retired judge Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre to investigate if there has been regulatory failure in dealing with the alleged contravention of laws pertaining to the securities market in relation to the Adani Group or other companies.

[Read Order] 

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