Adani-Hindenburg row: SC adjourns hearing; asks SEBI to circulate its views on expert committee report
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the string of petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg row, media reports said.
The court asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to distribute its report containing its views on the recommendations made by the expert committee appointed by the top court, according to a report in the media.
The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing SEBI, informed the highest court that they had submitted their "positive reply" to the recommendations put forth by the expert committee in their report presented to the court on Monday.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Misra asked SEBI about the status of the investigation.
Mehta said the apex court had in May granted SEBI time till August 14 to complete its probe into the allegations of stock price manipulation by the Adani group and the investigation in the matter is going on.
He said the expert committee had made certain recommendations, and in response, submission has been filed. It was emphasized that the submission is unrelated to the allegations.
It was stated that the expert committee had made certain recommendations, and they had filed their response. He clarified that the response had no relation to the allegations.
The bench conveyed that it had not yet received SEBI's response and suggested that it would be appropriate for the response to be circulated along with other documents pertaining to the case.
It was stated that the matter would be taken up for hearing immediately after the conclusion of proceedings on other pleas listed before a constitution bench, which is set to commence hearings from Wednesday.
In its application submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday, SEBI stated that its rule changes in 2019 do not create additional difficulties in identifying beneficiaries of offshore funds.
The regulatory body emphasized that appropriate action would be taken if any violation is discovered or proven.
SEBI further asserted that it has consistently strengthened regulations regarding beneficial ownership and transactions involving related parties, which are crucial aspects in the allegations of stock price manipulation by the Adani Group.
According to an interim report from an expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court, it was stated in May that there was "no evident pattern of manipulation" in the companies of billionaire Gautam Adani, and there was no indication of regulatory failure.
However, the report did highlight various amendments made by SEBI between 2014 and 2019 that limited the regulator's capacity to conduct investigations. Additionally, the committee's probe into alleged violations concerning money flows from offshore entities yielded no significant findings.
On May 17, the Supreme Court ordered that copies of the report presented by the expert committee, headed by Justice (retd) A M Sapre and appointed by the court, should be provided to the concerned parties.
This was to facilitate their assistance in the subsequent discussions related to the case.
Following a series of allegations made by Hindenburg Research, including claims of fraudulent transactions and manipulation of share prices, the stocks of the Adani Group experienced a decline in the stock market.
The Adani Group refuted these allegations, dismissing them as false and affirming their compliance with all legal requirements and disclosure norms.
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