“Expected”: SEBI approaches Supreme Court seeking 6 more months to complete probe of fraud against Adani Group

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India’s market regulator, which faced considerable condemnation for not acting swiftly against the Adani Group in the wake of an expose by Hindenburg Research, has now moved the Supreme Court asking for six more months to conclude its investigation. No sooner did the news of SEBI approaching the Supreme Court emerge, netizens reacted with sarcasm saying that the delay was a deliberate attempt by the SEBI, which was anyway reluctant to probe the matter. Meanwhile, the Adani Group issued a statement claiming that the SEBI had found no wrong-doing in its empire.
Adani Group

The Supreme Court on 2 March this year had allowed the SEBI to carry on with its probe, which was scheduled to conclude on 2 May (Tuesday).

The SEBI, according the Bar and Bench website, said in its application to the Supreme Court, “Applicant/SEBI also respectfully submits that for ascertaining possible violations related to mis-representation of financials, circumvention of Regulations and/or fraudulent nature of transactions in respect of 12 suspicious transactions mentioned herein above, given the complexity of the matter, SEBI in the normal course would take at least 15 months for completion of the investigation of these transactions, but is making all reasonable endeavours to conclude the same within six months.”

The Adani Group in its statement said, “SEBI is conducting an investigation into allegations made by a foreign short-seller on 25 January 2023 and also into market activity before and after that date. We understand that SEBI has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court for more time to conclude its investigation.

“We have welcomed the investigation, which represents a fair opportunity for everyone to be heard and for all issues to be addressed. We are fully compliant with all laws, rules and regulations and are confident that truth will prevail. We are fully cooperating with SEBI and will continue to provide all our support and cooperation.

“It is pertinent to note that in the SEBI application filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, there are no conclusions of any alleged wrong-doing. The SEBI application only cites the allegations made in the short-sellers report, which are still under investigation.

“While we continue to remain focused on our business and growth, we would request the media to avoid needless speculation at this time and wait for SEBI and the Expert Committee appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to complete their work and submit their findings.”

Meanwhile Twitterati wasted no time in taking potshots at the SEBI.