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.
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.
Shamelessness Pro Max
SEBI, the stock market regulator that allegedly monitors movement of share prices in real-time, was given 60 days by the Supreme Court to investigate Hindenburg Research allegations on Adani Group. Naturally, it wants more time. @bsindia @HindenburgRes pic.twitter.com/zpqVoLBZhq
— churumuri (@churumuri) April 29, 2023
Given Modi govt’s virtual refusal to probe allegations of fraud against the Adani Group, the expected has happened.
SEBI files a plea to extend the May 2 deadline of the SC to file a status report on its probe!
For the truth, which must come out, a JPC is essential.… pic.twitter.com/KfP7lMp2zU
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) April 29, 2023
Breaking now: SEBI moves SC, seeks 6 months additional time to complete the probe in the Adani-Hindenburg case. Is anyone surprised? In high stakes probes, deferring/not taking a decision is often the ‘clever’ decision!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 29, 2023
SEBI has asked for a 6 month extension to unravel the truth after the Supreme Court Committee ordered it to examine the stock market transactions of the Adani Group.
The Committee—as it needs to be recalled—has limited terms of reference to begin with. It cannot (and will not…
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) April 29, 2023
Asking 6 more months, no less, to investigate Adani affairs, SEBI shows it’s either incompetent or knows what may tumble out and is buying for time. Shows how the Court erred in trusting existing mechanism. Also shows that truth shall not be allowed to reach the public formally.
— suhas palshikar (@PalshikarSuhas) April 29, 2023