SC gives SEBI time till Aug 14 to probe Adani-Hindenburg case

New Delhi : The Supreme Court has given SEBI time till August 14 to investigate the Adani-Hindenburg case. A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said that after seeing the report, an order can be passed on completing the investigation by September 30.

The court said that the report of the expert committee on improving the working of the stock market will be given to all the parties. On the suggestion of the expert committee, the hearing will be held on July 11 after the summer vacations.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that we have filed the reply to SEBI’s application. In 2021 SEBI was investigating about Adani. This was told in response to a question asked in Parliament. He said that what SEBI did between 2016 and 2021 should be told to the court. SEBI is not taking action against Adani for seven years. SEBI should tell the court what happened to all these investigations.

Prashant Bhushan said that Adani’s shares had increased manifold in a year which was an alarm bell. But SEBI did nothing. On behalf of SEBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that 2016 to 2021 has nothing to do with this matter. The petitioners are linking him to the Hindenburg.

SEBI filed a reply in the Supreme Court on May 15 saying that the allegation that SEBI is conducting an investigation against the Adani Group since 2016 is baseless. The investigation that the petitioners are referring to was in fact about Global Deposit Receipts (GDRs) issued to 51 Indian companies. None of the Adani Group companies are included in these.

SEBI says that the 12 suspicious transactions mentioned in the Hindenburg report are very complex and are related to many countries of the world. It will take a long time to verify the data related to those transactions. In such a situation, the purpose behind seeking 6 months time for investigation is that justice can be done to the investors and the security market.

During the hearing, on May 12, the Supreme Court had said that SEBI cannot be given indefinite time to complete the investigation in the Adani-Hindenburg case. A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had said that it cannot give SEBI another six months. SEBI has filed an application seeking more time of six months. SEBI has said that many complex aspects have to be examined. In USA, such investigation lasts from 9 months to 5 years.

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