Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hindenburg-Adani issue: Supreme Court to hear SEBI plea seeking additional 6 months for probe tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the petition filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), seeking six months time to probe the Hindenburg Research report and the allegations it levelled against the Adani Group of companies.

The matter was mentioned before the Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, which agreed to list it for hearing tomorrow.

The market regulator filed a rejoinder affidavit in the Apex Court today, giving additional reasons for seeking more time to investigate the Hindenburg Research report.

Appearing for SEBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that it needed at least six more months to complete the probe, considering the complexities of the matter. 

The SG contended that the additional time would ensure the carriage of justice, as well as the interest of investors and the securities market since any incorrect or premature conclusion of the case arrived at without full facts material on record would not serve the ends of justice and hence, would be legally untenable.

The fresh affidavit filed by the market regulator further sought to substantiate its plea by highlighting the complexity of transactions referred to in the controversial report. 

It said in respect of the investigation or examination relating to 12 transactions referred to in the Hindenburg Report, prima facie it was noted that these transactions were highly complex and had many sub-transactions across numerous jurisdictions.

It further said that a rigorous investigation of these transactions would require collation of data/information from various sources, including bank statements from multiple domestic as well as international banks, apart from financial statements of onshore and offshore entities involved in the transactions and contracts and agreements, if any, entered between the entities along with other supporting documents. 

The SG said an analysis would then be conducted on the documents received from various sources before conclusive findings can be arrived at.

SEBI further termed as ‘factually baseless,’ the allegation made by the petitioner that it had been investigating the companies owned by Gautam Adani since 2016. It said the investigation pertaining to the issuance of Global Depository Receipts by 51 Indian listed companies did not include any listed company of Adani Group. 

The affidavit added that reliance sought to be placed on the investigation pertaining to GDRs was wholly misplaced. 

(Case title: Vishal Tiwari vs Union of India & Ors)


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