Supreme Court to Hear Pleas on Adani-Hindenburg Row Amid SEBI’s Extension Request for Probe

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The Supreme Court is set to hear pleas on the Adani-Hindenburg row on May 12, following its earlier directive on March 2 to the market regulator, SEBI, to investigate allegations of stock price manipulation by the Adani group and regulatory disclosure lapses. In response to a damning report by US short seller Hindenburg that caused a market value loss of over $140 billion for the conglomerate, the court had also established a committee to explore ways to safeguard Indian investors.According to the cause list on the apex court’s website, a bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala will preside over the hearing.

This development gains significance amidst reports that the committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice AM Sapre, has submitted its recommendations to strengthen the regulatory framework in a sealed cover.Recently, SEBI sought a six-month extension from the court to complete its probe into allegations of stock price manipulation and regulatory disclosure lapses by the Adani group. SEBI cited the need for additional time to investigate possible violations such as misrepresentation of financials, regulatory circumvention, and fraudulent transactions.

However, one of the PIL petitioners, advocate Vishal Tiwari, opposed SEBI’s request, arguing that the regulator had ample time to examine relevant documents.The Supreme Court had justified the establishment of the expert panel to protect Indian investors from recent market volatility. The Justice Sapre panel, supported by the government and statutory agencies including the SEBI chairperson, is tasked with providing assistance.Previously, on February 10, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of safeguarding Indian investors amidst the Adani Group stocks’ decline and urged the government to consider forming a panel of domain experts led by a former judge to strengthen the regulatory mechanism.

The government agreed to the court’s proposal.To date, four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) have been filed in the Supreme Court regarding the Adani-Hindenburg matter by lawyers ML Sharma and Vishal Tiwari, as well as Congress leader Jaya Thakur.The Adani Group has refuted the allegations as baseless, asserting its compliance with all laws and disclosure requirements.

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