Hindenburg-Adani report: Supreme Court asks market regulator SEBI to probe manipulation of stock prices : The Tribune India

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Hindenburg-Adani report: Supreme Court asks market regulator SEBI to probe manipulation of stock prices

A Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud also sets up expert panel headed by ex-SC Judge AM Sapre to suggest measures to safeguard investors’ interests

Hindenburg-Adani report: Supreme Court asks market regulator SEBI to probe manipulation of stock prices

Adani Group head Gautam Adani.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, March 2

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed market regulator SEBI to investigate if there was any violation of Section 19 of SEBI Rules and if there was any manipulation of stock prices in contravention of existing laws.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asked the SEBI to investigate if there was any failure to disclose transactions with related parties and other relevant information concerning related parties to the market regulator.

It took note of the fact that the SEBI was already investigating the allegations made in the January 24 Hindenburg Research report.

Clarifying that its directions will not limit the contours of the ongoing probe, it asked the SEBI to submit a report to it in two months.

The Bench—which included Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala—also set up an expert committee headed by former SC Judge AM Sapre to suggest measures to safeguard investors’ interests in the wake of Hindenburg Research report leading to sudden crash in Adani Group shares.

Other members of the expert committee are—OP Bhat, Justice (Retd) JP Devdutt, Nandan Nilakeni, KV Kamath and Somasekharan Senderasan

The top court asked the expert committee to submit its report in a sealed cover to it in two months.

The order came on petitions pertaining to Hindenburg report incl on constitution of committee relating to regulatory mechanisms to protect the investors.

There are four PILs on the issue pending before the top court—one each by advocates ML Sharma and Vishal Tiwari; Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jaya Thakur and one Manish Kumar—seeking probe into the Hindenburg-Adani report.

The Adani Group stocks have tanked on the bourses after Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate led by Gautam Adani. The Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it has been complying with all laws and disclosure requirements.

The top court had refused to accept the names suggested by the Centre for the expert committee.

“We will select the experts and maintain full transparency. If we take names from the government, it would amount to a government-constituted committee. There has to be full (public) confidence in the committee,” the Bench had said on February 17, refusing to accept names of experts submitted to it by the Centre in a sealed cover for the panel.

“We would rather not accept the sealed cover suggestions. We want to ensure transparency. In case we take your suggestions from a sealed cover, it automatically means the other party won’t know. If we accept suggestions, we should disclose it to the other side so that there is transparency,” it had noted.

Maintaining that it will not take suggestions from either government or the petitioners on the composition of the expert committee, the top court had earlier said it would select experts on its own.

However, the Bench had made it clear that it will not appoint a sitting judge on the panel to examine the issue.

Reserving its order on the petitions seeking probe into the Hindenburg-Adani report, the Bench had on February 20 said it can’t start with the presumption of a regulatory failure.

Earlier, the Centre had accepted the top court’s proposal to set up an expert committee to suggest measures to strengthen regulatory mechanisms for the stock market in the wake of the Adani Group share crash following the Hindenburg Research report even as it said SEBI and other agencies were well-equipped to handle it.

SEBI had told the top court that it’s not in favour of banning short-selling or sale of borrowed shares, and said it is investigating allegations made by a tiny short-seller against the Adani Group as well as its share price movements.

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#gautam adani #Hindenburg Report #Justice DY Chandrachud #supreme court


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