New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday formed a six-member panel to look into a batch of PILs on the recent Adani Group shares crash triggered by the Hindenburg Research’s fraud allegations.
The apex court said that the committee will make overall assessment of situation and suggest measures to make investors aware. It has also asked market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to examine the allegations of stock manipulation and if there was failure to disclose relevant information on related parties.
The probe committee includes Nandan Nilekani, K V Kamath, Somasekharan Sundaresan and former judges O P Bhat and J P Devdatt.
Till now, four PILs have been filed in the top court on the issue by lawyers M L Sharma, Vishal Tiwari, Congress leader Jaya Thakur and Mukesh Kumar, who claims to be a social activist.
Tiwari, in his PIL, sought a direction to the Centre to constitute a committee monitored by a retired apex court judge to inquire into the Hindenburg Research report which has made a slew of allegations against the business conglomerate led by industrialist Gautam Adani.
Another PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma sought prosecution of short-seller Nathan Anderson of the US-based Hindenburg Research and his associates in India and the US for allegedly exploiting innocent investors and the “artificial crashing” of the Adani Group’s stock value in the market.
Congress leader Thakur, in his plea, has sought an investigation under the supervision of a sitting apex court judge against the Adani Group of companies in light of the allegations.
The fourth PIL seeks a probe by multiple central government agencies under the supervision of a panel or a former apex court judge against the Adani Group following allegations of fraud and share price manipulation.
Direct appropriate audit (transactional and forensic audits), inquiry and investigation by appropriate agencies such as Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO); Registrar of Companies (RoC); Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); ED (Directorate of Enforcement) on money-laundering aspect; I-T (Income-Tax Department on aspects of offshore transactions and tax-havens involved and DRI( Department of Revenue Intelligence), the fourth plea said.
Besides seeking a direction to the Centre and its agencies to render cooperation in the probe, the PIL has sought a direction to appoint a retired judge of the apex court or a committee to oversee and monitor the inquiry and investigation.
Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after the Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate. The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.
(With inputs from PTI)