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Congress Leader Moves Supreme Court For Investigation Against Adani Group Based On Hindenburg Report; Seeks Probe Into SBI, LIC Investments

14 Feb 2023 6:56 AM GMT
Congress Leader Moves Supreme Court For Investigation Against Adani Group Based On Hindenburg Report; Seeks Probe Into SBI, LIC Investments

A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court today seeking investigation against theAdani Group in the light of the report published by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research which alleged that the ports-to-power conglomerate has inflated share prices of its companies through manipulations and malpractices.

The petition also seeks probe into the role of the Life Insurance Corporation and the State Bank of India for allegedly investing "huge amounts of public money" in the FPO of Adani Enterprises at a rate of Rupees 3200 per share when the prevailing market rate of the shares was around Rs 1800 per share in the secondary market.

The petition has been filed by Congress leader Dr.Jaya Thakur alleging that Gautam Adani and his associates have "swindled lakhs of crores of public money". The petitioner seeks probe by investigating agencies like CBI, ED, DRI, SEBI, RBI, SFIO etc under the supervision and monitoring of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court is at present considering two other PILs which have sought investigation against Hindenburg Research for causing stock market losses through short-selling. While considering the petitions, the Supreme Court had on last Friday expressed concerns about protecting the Indian investors from such type of market volatility and sought the views of the Union Government and the SEBI on strengthening the regulatory mechanism. The bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had also suggested the constitution of an expert committee to review the regulatory framework. While making these observations, the Court was circumspect to clarify that it was not casting any doubt on the role of SEBI or other authorities.

Yesterday, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta informed the Court that the Centre has no objection to the suggestion to form an expert committee; however, the remit of the committee should be clearly defined so that no impression is given to international or domestic investors regarding any inadequacy in the existing regulatory framework. The SG also said that it is appropriate that the Union Government suggests the names of the committee members by placing them in a sealed cover. The top law officer of the Union added that SEBI was fully equipped to deal with the situation. The bench directed the SG to place a note on the suggested remit of the committee by Wednesday and posted the matter to Friday.

The petition filed by Dr.Thakur today makes several allegations of malpractices against Adani group. As per the petition, the Hindenburg report discloses that Gautam Adani and his brother and his associates have indulged into money laundering of huge quantity of money, by using various offshore shell companies setup by them at various tax havens.

The petitioner also says that it needs to be investigated whether LIC and SBI have failed to discharge their duty towards investors and common people by investing in Adani group companies.

The petitioner, who is holding the post of General Secretary, Mahila Congress, Madhya Pradesh, said that she herself is having some investment in LIC and an account in State Bank of India.

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