Adani-Hindenburg Case: SC to Form Probe Committee, Rejects Names Proposed by Centre

"We want full transparency... if we accept [these] suggestions, then it will be seen as a government-appointed committee, which we do not want. Leave it to us to decide," CJI D.Y. Chandrachud said.

New Delhi: Turning down the names proposed by the Union government, the Supreme Court on Friday, February 17, said it will form an expert committee to review regulatory mechanism in light of the Adani-Hindenburg case.

While rejecting a sealed cover from the Union government containing proposed names and the remit of the committee, a bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said the court will constitute the committee to ensure “full (public) confidence”, Livelaw.in reported.

“We want full transparency… if we accept [these] suggestions, then it will be seen as a government-appointed committee, which we do not want. Leave it to us to decide,” CJI Chandrachud said, according to NDTV.

He also went on to say, however, “We can’t start with a presumption of regulatory failure.”

Hearing a batch of petitions on the Adani Group controversy, the court last week had sought the views of the Union government and SEBI to protect Indian investors. The government had then informed the court that it was fine with the constitution of a committee while requesting that its remit should not be defined in such a manner that foreign and domestic investors feel there are inadequacies in the regulatory framework.

One of the petitioners, Vishal Sharma, told the court that he wanted “a proper valuation of the shares for loans being given by banks” as well as an audit of the Adani companies. He sought directions from the court to appoint a Supreme Court judge to investigate the contents of the Hindenburg report.

Another petitioner, M.L. Sharma, sought “action against Hindenburg”. He wanted action against Nathan Anderson, the founder of Hindenburg, “for exploiting innocent Investors via short selling under the garb of artificial crashing”. He urged the court to declare short selling an offence of fraud.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for another petitioner, sought a special investigation team be set up under the supervision of the Supreme Court to look into the Hindenburg report, flagging the alleged violation of stock market rules by the Adani Group.

According to NDTV, the government lawyer, Tushar Mehta, said, “We are not objecting to an investigation on the [Adani Group] promoters or the Hindenburg report… SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and all regulatory bodies have discharged their duties so far.”

The court concluded the hearing on the matter and reserved its orders for a later day.