The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict in a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitoring inquiry into fraud allegations made by Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group, Bar and Bench reported.
The court expressed its faith in SEBI, which is investigating the matter, despite lawyer Prashant Bhushan saying SEBI’s probe so far was “not credible”.
“SEBI is a statutory body exclusively entrusted with investigating stock market manipulation,” said chief justice DY Chandrachud. “Is it proper for a court without any proper material to say we don’t trust SEBI?”
The CJI also said SEBI could not go by “something printed in the newspaper”. “I don’t think you can take something written in a newspaper, whether Guardian or Financial Times, to be gospel truth. We are not saying we doubt them but we can’t say it is evidence enough to discredit the statutory regulatory…Should SEBI now follow journalists?”
Meanwhile, Bhushan questioned why the SEBI, with “all its power”, couldn’t get hold of “relevant documents”, even though journalists could. “How could they not get these documents for so many years? The OCCRP, The Guardian etc have shown that most of these offshore companies investing in Adani stocks were controlled by Vinod Adani.”
The case pertains to allegations that the Adani group inflated its share prices. As these allegations appeared in a report by short-seller Hindenberg Research, the share price of Adani companies plunged, reportedly to the tune of $100 billion. The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict in the petitions seeking an examination of the matter.
Newslaundry had earlier reported that the documents obtained by the OCCRP, and shared with the Guardian and the Financial Times, suggested alleged stock manipulation by four Adani companies between 2013 and 2017. Read all about it here.
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