The Supreme Court said today that the claims made by US short-seller Hindenburg and the Hindenburg Report Adani from the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) about the Adani Group cannot be taken at face value. This raised serious concerns about requests for an investigation based on the reports.
The Supreme Court posed some challenging questions to attorney Prashant Bhushan, who had petitioned for an investigation into the claims and legal action against SEBI for missing a deadline for a report on the Hindenburg case.
“SEBI is a statutory body whose sole responsibility is to look into stock market manipulation. Is it appropriate for a court to declare that it will create its own SIT (Special Investigation Team) because it doesn’t have the necessary evidence? The CJI (Chief Justice of India) informed advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing on behalf of the petitioners, “This has to be done with much calibration.”
Funded by billionaire George Soros, the OCCRP had accused two foreign investors of insider trading in the Adani Group. The Adani Group has referred to them as “recycled allegations” and another coordinated attempt to bring the “meritless Hindenburg Report Adani“ back to life by Soros-funded interests backed by some foreign media.
Additionally, the report was rejected by SEBI, the capital markets regulator, as untrustworthy due to its origins as a “foreign non-profit (NGO)”.
The OCCRP sent its report to the government, according to Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, but it withheld certain information. “They told us they couldn’t provide us with specifics and instead pointed us in the direction of an NGO associated with Bhushan’’, Mr. Mehta informed the Supreme Court.
“If we don’t follow our regulation, it will be useless.”
He claimed that although SEBI missed the deadline, the regulator had only gone over by ten days.
The government attorney drew attention to the fact that the DRI concluded the investigation in 2017 and discovered no anomalies. Mr. Mehta stated, “This is the problem when they rely on random information in public,” and mentioned that the DRI order had been upheld by the Supreme Court.
‘Mr Bhushan, exercise caution. It is simple to level accusations. Although we are not awarding them with a character certificate, kindly remember to treat them fairly. You are depending on a DRI communication to SEBI that the DRI has already looked into and closed. The CESTAT held hearings on the matter’, The Chief Justice said.
“We are not discrediting what’s reported on FT, Guardian, but does it have evidentiary value for SEBI?” the Supreme Court said in response to Mr. Bhushan’s persistent questions regarding SEBI’s lack of response to OCCRP reports that were released in foreign media.
Mr. Bhushan contended that if journalists were able to obtain documents, then why couldn’t SEBI?
“The laws governing evidentiary value bind SEBI. SEBI is responsible to the authorities that hear appeals. The Supreme Court firmly declared, “SEBI cannot claim that we relied on newspaper stories.” “How can we trust the stories in the newspapers? How can we declare these to be reliable? “According to the Solicitor General, rumors were spread outside of India in an attempt to sway national policy. “You mentioned that the evidence is overwhelming. The court questioned Mr. Bhushan, who referenced the Hindenburg report, “What are those?”
According to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, “We cannot treat the Hindenburg Report Adani as the true state of affairs.” The court had directed SEBI to look into this. The work of a publication cannot be regarded as the final word, the Supreme Court ruled.
In its May report, the committee appointed by the Supreme Court gave the Adani Group the benefit of the doubt. Following the release of the Hindenburg report, the conglomerate took the required actions to reassure retail investors. It had stated that there was no regulatory failure on the part of SEBI and no price manipulation on the part of the Adani Group.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan has received a warning from the Indian Supreme Court not to make baseless claims in the Hindenburg case. Concern was raised by the Court regarding requests for an investigation based on the reports, which SEBI has rejected. The Supreme Court-appointed committee that gave the Adani Group the benefit of the doubt was another point the Court mentioned. All of these developments stand in favour of the Adani Group and establish it as a reliable and trustworthy company.