New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the initiation of contempt proceedings against the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for failing to conclude its investigation into the allegations of stock manipulation and accounting fraud against the Adani Group within the specified timeframe.
According to LiveLaw, the petition was filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, one of the individuals who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a court-monitored inquiry into the allegations levelled against the conglomerate by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research. Tiwari highlighted that according to the May 17 order of the top court, SEBI was required to submit its report by August 14. However, the market regulator has not yet presented its final report.
The lawyer sought a directive asking SEBI to explain its non-compliance and also the initiation of contempt proceedings against the regulator. He also drew attention to the investigation by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which also accused Adani Group companies of irregularities. The Supreme Court-appointed expert committee should also investigate the OCCRP report, Tiwari sought.
According to LiveLaw, while the scheduled hearing into the matter was on August 29, 2023, the case has not yet been listed in the Supreme Court. Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan had raised the matter before the Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on November 6, expressing urgency. The CJI assured that the issue would be examined with the registry.
The original two-month deadline set by the Supreme Court to investigate the allegations raised by Hindenburg ended on May 2. SEBI requested an extension, citing the complexity of transactions and the need for additional time, and was granted time until August 14.