A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking initiation of a contempt petition against market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for not completing its investigation in the Adani Hindenburg matter within the timeline framed by the court. The application also seeks inquiry into allegations by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) against the Adani Group.
According to Supreme Court website, the matter is tentatively listed for November 24.
“To initiated contempt proceedings against SEBI for the violation of timeline framed by this Court in the order dated 17-5-2023 in Writ Petition civil 162/2023 and other connected matters for completing the investigation and submit its report,” the fresh application filed by petitioner Vishal Tiwari. The said order had granted an extension till August 14 to SEBI to submit its report. It was also said that SEBI shall place on the record an updated status report regarding the course of the investigation. It was also for directing SEBI to submit explanation for not complying the time line and submit the report without any delay.
The application said that SEBI, in its application filed for appropriate orders on expert committee report, has raised objection on the suggestion of necessary timeline. The SEBI objection is contrary to the present need of a strong and efficient regulatory mechanism because timeless investigations lead to the disappearance of evidence and vital information against any entity, which is under investigation and it also reduces the confidence of the investors in the market.
“The inordinate delay in investigation impacts upon investigation and its also raises suspicion in the minds of investors and refrain them from investing in future. Delay in investigation also leads to the manipulations and damage of Vital material and evidence,” it highlighted.
The application brought the report by OCCRP to the notice of court. It said that the said report against Adani Group has erupted a new political and economic storm in India. The report has alleged Gautam Adani’s family of investing millions of dollars in its own companies via “opaque” Mauritius funds. The report mentions two of company associates, Chang Chung-Ling and Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli, and alleges them of investing heavily in Adani group’s companies shares since 2013. The company has already refuted all the allegations and report.
“To further direct the Expert committee constituted to conduct a detailed investigation in respect to the report and Allegations of Stock manipulations and Secret Investments published by OCCRP,” the application urged. Further, it sought direction to the Government and SEBI for the Implementation of the Suggestions and measures given by the Expert Committee.
The application highlighted that the primary focus was that in future what steps shall be taken to strengthen the Regulatory system so that the investors could be protected and their investment in the share market may remain safe. Because after the publication of the Hindenberg report against the Adani Group a big Surge in share market was seen and thousands of crores of the investors’ money got lost.
But now the question arises of whether the present Regulatory Authority is efficient enough or whether some changes are required by setting up a new Regulatory body with a more efficient mechanism so that in the future such damaging incidents may not occur in the share market and the investors’ money may be protected. “A strong mechanism is also required to keep vigil upon the companies conduct and practice that whether they are complying with necessary rules and regulations laid down by the regulatory Authority,” the application mentioned.