Adani scam: SC to consider fresh status report filed by SEBI on September 15

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Stop Adani protest outside Josh Frydenberg’s Camberwell office. [Photo: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA/Julian Meehan]

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is slated to consider on September 15 the fresh status report filed by Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the Adani-Hindenburg case.

As per the details available on the official website of the apex court, a bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud is likely to take up the pleas for hearing on September 15, news agency IANS reported.

On August 25, the market regulator in a fresh status report said that it had examined 24 matters in compliance with orders of the top court, adding that SEBI will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigations in the Adani-Hindenburg matter.

“Out of the said 24 investigations, 22 are final in nature and 2 are interim in nature. As on date, the said 22 final investigation reports and 1 interim investigation report are approved by the Competent Authority in accordance with SEBI’s extant practice and procedures,” said the status report filed by the Executive Director V.S. Sundaresan of SEBI.

It said that in respect of one remaining matter, interim findings are approved by the Competent Authority and SEBI has sought information from external agencies or entities.

“Upon receipt of such information will evaluate the same vis-a-vis the interim investigation report to determine further course of action, if any, in the said matters,” it said.

On August 14, the SEBI had sought an extension of 15 days to conclude the investigation process and file a status report in the matter.

The market regulator had then said that “out of the said 24 investigations/ examinations, 17 are final and complete and approved by the Competent Authority in accordance with SEBI’s extant practice and procedures”.

Earlier, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had filed its views before the Supreme Court on various recommendations made by the Court-appointed Expert Committee in connection with the Adani-Hindenburg case.

The SEBI had opposed the suggestion of prescribing timelines for initiation of investigation and proceedings and said that “prescribing specific timelines to complete the investigation may compromise the quality of investigation”.

The apex court on March 2 had formed an expert committee headed by Justice A.M. Sapre, former judge of the Supreme Court with an objective to review and strengthen the existing financial regulatory mechanisms.

It had directed SEBI to expeditiously conclude the investigation within two months and file a status report.

Later in May, the Supreme Court had granted an extension of time till 14 August 2023 to the market regulator to submit its report.

The controversial Hindenburg Research’s report, inter alia, alleged that the Adani Group of companies has manipulated its share prices; failed to disclose transactions with related parties and other relevant information concerning related parties in contravention of the regulations framed by SEBI; and violated other provisions of securities laws.

The report about Indian billionaire Gautam Adani had led to a stock rout, erasing over $ 100 billion from his empire and pushing him down on the global rich list.

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