Hindenburg effect: Supreme Court to hear plea seeking probe against Adani Group on February 17
The Supreme Court will take up on February 17 the petition seeking investigation against the Adani Group over charges of share inflation by way of manipulations and malpractices, as alleged in a report published by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research.
The matter was mentioned on Wednesday before the Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud for urgent listing. Initially, the CJI listed it on February 24, however, the Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that two similar matters were listed on February 17. The Bench then tagged the petition along with the other pleas.
Filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur, the plea further sought probe into the role of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) for allegedly investing ‘huge’ amount of public money in the FPO of Adani Enterprises at the rate of Rs 3200 per share when the prevailing market rate of the shares was around Rs 1800 per share in the secondary market.
Alleging that industrialist Gautam Adani and his associates had ‘swindled’ lakhs of crores of ‘public money,’ the petitioner sought probe by investigating agencies like CBI, ED, DRI, SEBI, RBI and SFIO under the supervision and monitoring of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.
As per the plea, the Hindenburg report had disclosed that Gautam Adani, his brother and associates had indulged in money laundering by using various offshore shell companies set up by them at various tax havens.
The plea further sought investigation on whether LIC and SBI had failed to discharge their duty towards the investors and common people by investing in Adani group companies.
Thakur, who is the General Secretary of Mahila Congress in Madhya Pradesh, said that she herself was having some investment in LIC and an account in the State Bank of India.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had conducted hearing on two PILS seeking investigation against Hindenburg Research for causing stock market losses through short-selling.
The Central government told the Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on Monday that it was willing to form a committee to analyse whether the regulatory framework needed modification for protection of Indian investors.
The Apex Court directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Union of India, to prepare a remit of the committee by tomorrow.
The PIL filed by Vishal Tiwari sought constitution of a committee under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court Judge to investigate the contents of the Hindenburg Research Report.
Another petition filed by Advocate M.L. Sharma sought to declare ‘short-selling’ as an offence of fraud. The plea urged the Apex Court to direct probe against Nathan Anderson, founder of Hindenburg, for ‘exploiting’ innocent investors via short selling under the ‘garb’ of artificial crashing.