Adani-Hindenburg Row: SC Incline To Grant 3 Months But SEBI Says 6 Months To Submit Report

The Supreme Court today stated that it is inclined to grant 3 more months for proof into Adani Hindenburg matter but the SEBI says it needs almost 6 months to submit its report. Then Supreme Court said that we will hear this issue on Monday and then decide accordingly.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha, and JB Pardiwala said that it can’t grant 6 months of extension period as demanded by SEBI.

Therefore, the bench heard an application by SEBI that seeks an extension of 6 months to submit its probe report.

The Court said that “We cannot grant 6 months now. There needs to be some alacrity in the work. Put together a team. We can list the case in August mid and have the report then, 6 months can’t be given as a minimum time. SEBI cannot take indefinitely long period and we will give them 3 months.”

Further, it stated that it will pronounce its order on SEBI’s application for an extension of time on May 15, Monday.

Pertinently, the bench also stated that it has received the probe report submitted by the court-appointed expert committee headed by Justice AM Sapre (retired top court judge).

The bench said that “The report of the committee headed by Justice Sapre has been received in the registry and we can see the report over the weekend.. let us list this on Monday. We will pronounce orders on your application seeking time on Monday.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for SEBI.

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

SEBI in its last month application filed that it would need another 6 months to complete the probe.

Furthermore, SEBI stated that it has informed the expert committee of the status, steps taken, and interim findings in respect of the examinations and investigations carried out by it.

In its application, the market regulator submitted that the 12 suspicious transactions cited in the Hindenburg report would need a rigorous probe of at least 15 months since those transactions are complex and have many sub-transactions.

Further, the investigation also requires acquiring bank statements from multiple domestic banks as well as international banks, and also the bank statements would be for the transactions undertaken more than 10 years ago and this would take time and be challenging.

The Supreme Court is clenched by four petitions concerning the recent report published by short-seller Hindenburg Research alleging fraud on the part of the conglomerate by inflating the share prices.
The report led to a fall in the share value of various Adani companies & Adani Group reportedly suffered losses crossing $100 billion.

The plea by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma has sought directions to the SEBI and the Union Home Ministry for conducting an inquiry and registering FIR against the founder of Hindenburg Research, Nathan Anderson, and his associates in India.

The 2nd petition on the issue was filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari seeking an inquiry into the Hindenburg report by a committee headed by a retired judge of the top court.

The petition by Congress leader Dr. Jaya Thakur has questioned the decision of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest in the company’s shares at reputed inflated prices.

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About the Author: Meera Verma