Thursday, July 4, 2024

Hindenburg Report | Supreme Court asks SEBI to provide status report on Adani by August 14

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) time till August 14 to provide a status report on its probe into the controversy surrounding the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group of companies and allegations against the conglomerate [Vishal Tiwari vs Union of India].

A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala passed the order after the markets regulator sought additional six months to investigate the dealings of the conglomerate, reasoning that they were “highly complex”.


We could have given you time till Sept 30.. but on August 14 tell us which stage are you in.. give us an updated report on the status of the investigation,” said the CJI.

The Court recorded that the expert committee has submitted its report and the case was adjourned to be heard after the summer recess to enable an analysis by the court.

The expert committee is requested to assist the court and the committee to hold further deliberations and take up any further aspect or suggestion for the proceedings.”

During the previous hearing, the SEBI had told the Court through an affidavit that it has not been probing any companies of the Adani Group since 2016, as was earlier contended.

During the hearing today, advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that this was a clear attempt to shield the company.

They must state on record what happened to the investigation being carried since 2016. If Adani shares increase abnormally by 5,000% etc then alarm bells have to be rung. There are statements in parliament in 2021,” he argued.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta responded to these contentions stating that SEBI has the wherewithal and was dealing with the issue.

You pick up something in 2016 and then connect it with Hindenburg Report… 2016 is something totally different and distinct.. they want whatever investigation carried against a company has to be placed and that is not the remit… Minister had stated that SEBI is probing some companies with compliance regulation.. this probe had commenced on 2020 and the minister’s statement is not for the probe originating in 2016,“, the SG said.

The matter concerns the controversy surrounding the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group of companies and allegations against the conglomerate.

In an order passed on March 2, the Supreme Court had allowed SEBI to continue with its probe. The probe was to be completed by May 2.

This probe is in addition to the investigation ordered by the top court by an expert committee headed by former judge Justice AM Sapre.

The expert committee subsequently submitted its report while the SEBI sought extension of time.

The Supreme Court is seized of four petitions concerning the recent report published by short-seller Hindenburg Research alleging fraud on the part of the conglomerate by inflating share prices.

The report had led to a fall in the share value of various Adani companies, reportedly to the tune of $100 billion.

The bench had on Friday expressed its inclination to grant only three more months to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SE)BI to complete its probe in connection with the stock crash, as against the six-months’ time it had sought.

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Also read: Smog chokes Capital: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt, Centre, NCR states

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