Adani-Hindenburg row: Supreme Court to review panel report, make decision on SEBI probe extension on May 15
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would review the report presented by the court-appointed six-member committee before deciding whether to grant the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) an extension for completing the investigation regarding the Adani-Hindenburg matter.
The court scheduled further deliberation on the issue for Monday, May 15.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, heading a special three-judge bench, informed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing SEBI, that they had yet to examine the interim report submitted by former Supreme Court judge Justice AM Sapre, which is currently with the court registry.
The Chief Justice assured that they would carefully assess the report before issuing any orders on the extension of time.
According to an Indian Today report, during the brief hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that investigation is being done but will need more time to complete the same and said, "We are here to assist this court. We are investigating some transactions for 2016, which is completely different. We have written to the international agency also. And I am asking for six months' time with much responsibility."
Objecting to the extension of time, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for a petitioner in the case, said SEBI should at least disclose what it has done so far.
Bhushan also told the bench that SEBI is a member of the International Organisation of Securities Commission and hence there was no difficulty in getting information from foreign countries regarding international transactions.
At this, the CJI said, “It would not be proper at this stage to ask them to reveal what they have found in investigation. Let us see. But we agree with you that they cannot go on indefinitely."
SEBI, in its request, has asked for an additional six months to conclude its investigation into the Hindenburg allegations.
However, during the hearing, the bench hinted that it might not grant the full six months but could potentially extend the probe by three more months to allow for completion.
"You complete your investigation in three months and come back to us. There has to be alacrity," the CJI told the Solicitor General, the India Today report said.
According to the report, another petitioner also opposed the extension of time and said, "There is a regulatory failure."
This angered the CJI, who reprimanded the petitioner for irresponsibly declaring that it was a case of "a regulatory failure" when the findings of the investigation by the court-appointed committees had not been revealed.
On this, the report quoted CJI as saying: "The committee is constituted to say that there was a regulatory failure, you cannot stand here and say that there was a regulatory failure because whatever you say here affects stock markets. Let us be responsible. It is easy to stand and make allegations."
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court instructed SEBI to examine specific aspects of the matters raised in a set of petitions as part of its ongoing investigation.
The investigation focused on various issues such as the potential violation of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, non-disclosure of transactions, and manipulation of stock prices, among others.
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