Affidavit Before SC Claims that SEBI Brought Amendments to Benefit Adani

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The affidavit further claimed that the frequent amendments brought in to the regulations and definitions have "provided a shield and an excuse to the Adani Group, due to which their regulatory contraventions and price manipulations remained undetected".

NEW DELHI — One of the petitioners in Adani-Hindenburg matter has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court recently claiming that the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) brought a series of amendments only to benefit the Adani Group and the market regulator has a conflict of interest in investigating the violations of law committed by it.

The affidavit sworn by Anamika Jaiswal alleged that not only has the SEBI suppressed important facts from the Supreme Court and slept over DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) alerts, but there is also an apparent conflict of interest in SEBI conducting Adani investigation.

“Mr. Cyril Shroff Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has been a member of SEBI’s Committee on Corporate Governance, which looks at offences like insider trading……Cyril Shroff’s daughter is married to Karan Adani, son of Gautam Adani, showing clear conflict of interest,” said the affidavit, adding that 5 out of the 24 SEBI investigation reports on Adani group companies are on insider trading allegations.

The affidavit further claimed that the frequent amendments brought in to the regulations and definitions have “provided a shield and an excuse to the Adani Group, due to which their regulatory contraventions and price manipulations remained undetected”.

It said that all 24 investigation reports prepared by the SEBI should be made available to the Expert Committee appointed by the Supreme Court and to all the petitioners, adding that the market regulator has failed to either detect or act against violations in a timely manner and thereby, causing financial losses to unsuspecting small investors which run into crores.

The Adani-Hindenburg matter is likely to be taken up for hearing by a bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud on September 15, as per the details available on the website of the Supreme Court.

On August 25, the market regulator, in a fresh status report, said that it had examined 24 matters in compliance with orders of the top court, adding that the SEBI will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigations in the Adani-Hindenburg matter.

“Out of the said 24 investigations, 22 are final in nature and 2 are interim in nature. As on date, the said 22 final investigation reports and 1 interim investigation report are approved by the Competent Authority in accordance with the SEBI’s extant practice and procedures,” said the status report filed by the SEBI’s Executive Director V.S. Sundaresan.

It said that in respect of one remaining matter, interim findings are approved by the Competent Authority and the SEBI has sought information from external agencies or entities.

“Upon receipt of such information will evaluate the same vis-a-vis the interim investigation report to determine further course of action, if any, in the said matters,” it said.

On August 14, the SEBI had sought an extension of 15 days to conclude the investigation process and file an updated status report in the matter.

Earlier, the SEBI had filed its views before the Supreme Court on various recommendations made by the Court-appointed Expert Committee in connection with the Adani-Hindenburg case.

It had opposed the suggestion of prescribing timelines for initiation of investigation and proceedings and said that “prescribing specific timelines to complete the investigation may compromise the quality of investigation”.

The apex court on March 2 had formed an expert committee headed by Justice A.M. Sapre, former judge of the Supreme Court with an objective to review and strengthen the existing financial regulatory mechanisms. It had directed the SEBI to expeditiously conclude the investigation within two months and file a status report.

Later in May, the Supreme Court had granted an extension of time till August 14 to the market regulator to submit its report. — IANS

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