The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a bunch of petitions seeking a probe into the Hindenburg Research’s report against the ports-to-power conglomerate Adani Group. The top court will also hear the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) plea seeking an extension of the time to submit the report. A three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud will hear the matter. The top court on Monday had adjourned the hearing on SEBI’s plea wherein the capital markets regulator sought a 6-month extension to conclude the investigation into the allegations levelled by Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group.
Here’s what you need to know before the Supreme Court hearing:
1. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the top court that the SEBI needs 6 months to reach any conclusion.
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on May 12 opposed the plea seeking extension of time.
2. SEBI said the application seeking extension of time to conclude the probe is meant to ensure justice keeping in mind the interests of the investors and the securities markets.
3. The capital markets regulator added that any incorrect or premature conclusion arrived at without full facts and material on record will be legally untenable. The apex court said that it was willing to extend the deadline to 3 months.
4. SEBI told the Supreme Court the probe done earlier is related to the issuance of global depository receipts or GDRs by 51 Indian listed companies. It also said no listed company of the Adani Group was among them.
5. SEBI’s affidavit filed in the Supreme Court read: “Hence, the allegation that the Securities and Exchange Board of India is investigating Adani since 2016 is factually baseless. I, therefore, say and submit that reliance sought to be placed on the investigation pertaining to GDRs is wholly misplaced”.
6. SEBI prima facie said that the 12 transactions described in the Hindenburg report are highly complex and have many sub-transactions across numerous jurisdictions.
7. The regulator added an investigation of these transactions would entail collation of data/information from sources like bank statements from domestic as well as international banks, financial statements of onshore and offshore entities involved and contracts and agreements, if any, between the entities coupled with supporting documents.
8. The Supreme Court in March directed the SEBI to investigate securities law violations, if any, by the Adani Group. The top court also set up an expert committee, led by former SC judge Justice AM Sapre.
9. The committee has been tasked to provide an assessment of the overall situation.
10. The committee includes retired judge Justice JP Devadhar, OP Bhatt, KV Kamath, Nandan Nilekani, and Somashekhar Sundaresan.
11. Earlier this year, Adani Group stocks and Gautam Adani’s net worth took a beating when the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research levelled allegations against the conglomerate including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation.