SC defers hearing of Adani-Hindenburg case; extension to Sebi yet uncertain

The deadline was sought by the regulator to complete the probe of the allegations in the Hindenburg report

BS Web Team New Delhi
Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

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The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing of the Adani-Hindenburg case. The hearing could not take place on Monday due to paucity of time and on account of scheduled hearing of certain matters before a special bench at 3 pm.
A bench headed by the chief justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud was expected to pronounce the extension by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

In the meanwhile, SEBI filed a rejoinder affidavit giving additional reasons for seeking more time to probe the issue. The deadline was sought by the regulator to complete the probe of the allegations in the Hindenburg report.
The Sebi told the apex court that it had not probed any Adani company since 2016 and the allegations that it has been doing so are "factually baseless".

"The application for extension of time filed by SEBI is meant to ensure carriage of justice keeping in mind the interest of investors and the securities market since any incorrect or premature conclusion of the case arrived at without full facts material on record would not serve the ends of justice and hence would be legally untenable," it said.
The market regulator has referred to complexities of transactions referred to in the Hindenburg report to justify its plea for extension of time to conclude the probe.

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It also said that any incorrect or premature conclusion of its probe into possible lapses of regulatory disclosures by billionaire Gautam Adani's eponymous group would not serve the interest of justice and would be legally untenable.
"In respect of the investigation/examination relating to 12 transactions referred to in the Hindenburg Report, prima facie it is noted that these transactions are highly complex and have many sub-transactions across numerous jurisdictions and a rigorous investigation of these transactions would require collation of data/information from various sources including bank statements from multiple domestic as well as international banks, financial statements of onshore and offshore entities involved in the transactions and contracts and agreements, if any, entered between the entities along with other supporting documents," SEBI said in its plea.

"Thereafter, analysis would have to be conducted on the documents received from various sources before conclusive findings can be arrived at," it said.
Last week, the apex court said that it may grant a three-month extension to probe into the allegations of stock price manipulation by the Adani Group and lapses in regulations. The Sebi had asked the court for a six-month extension.

On March 2, the SC had asked Sebi to probe the crash of Adani group stocks following the Hindenburg report. It also asked the regulatory body to suggest ways to strengthen the regulatory framework to protect the interest of the investors.
The apex court also set up a six-member expert committee to determine if there was any regulatory failure to deal with the issue. The committee was asked to submit the report in a sealed cover in two months. The chairman of Sebi was also ordered to provide all the relevant information to the committee.

In April, Sebi moved the SC and sought a six-month extension to complete its probe.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 15 2023 | 3:46 PM IST

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