The Hindenburg report saga has been a big windfall for the opposition parties in India. And the matter – went all the way up to the country’s top court which has now constituted a committee of experts to look into the matter.
The Supreme Court of India on Thursday, March 2, appointed an expert committee comprising six members, including a former Supreme Court judge, to probe the issue.
Published on January 24, the report alleged that the Adani Group manipulated its share prices by bringing in money from fake companies, in one case alleging six companies had the same address. It also alleged that the group failed to disclose transactions with related parties among other irregularities in blatant contravention of the regulations framed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The issue has been prosecuted to the fullest by all opposition parties and anyone else who does not like Narendra Modi’s government.
The legitimate concerns expressed include investments into Adani group made by the Indian government’s own – LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) and SBI (State Bank of India) worth thousands of crores.
They claim if Adani goes under, those investments by the LIC and SBI will hurt ordinary Indians.
Prime Minister Modi has been ambushed in various ways to make a statement on the report and alleged potential breaches by Adani group as claimed in the Hindenburg report, but he has refrained from saying a single word so far.
In the meantime, the volatility of share market has registered some turbulence for the Adani group share prices.
Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court. In response, highlighting investor concerns due to Hindenburg report, a Bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala ordered the formation of a panel after a preliminary examination of the issues raised in the pleas.
The committee will be headed by the former Supreme Court Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, and will have OP Bhatt (former Chairperson of State Bank of India and the Indian Banks’ Association), Justice JP Debadhar (former judge Bombay High Court), KV Kamath (former Chairperson of Infosys and a non-executive Chairperson of ICICI Bank), Nandan Nilekani (the co-founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited), and Somasekhar Sundaresan (a noted corporate lawyer, considered for elevation as a judge of the Bombay High Court.
Gautam Adani welcomed the announcement of the order of the apex court on Twitter:
The Adani Group welcomes the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. It will bring finality in a time bound manner. Truth will prevail.
— Gautam Adani (@gautam_adani) March 2, 2023
The PIL was filed by petitioner-Vishal Tiwari who had also sought directions to set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court Judge to investigate high-power loans.
The honorarium payable to the members of the expert committee will be fixed by Justice Sapre and borne by the Central government.
The committee is expected to carry out its “assessment of the extant regulatory framework” to make its recommendations to strengthen the same within two months.
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