Supreme Court rejects sealed cover suggestion by Central government; says will appoint committee on its its own

    Hindenburg research, Adani and Supreme Court

    )Hindenburg research, Adani and Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the suggestion made by the Central government in a sealed cover on the way forward with respect to the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group of companies and the consequent market impact.

    A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said that the Court will instead appoint a committee on its own since accepting the government’s sealed cover suggestion could give an impression that it is a government appointed committee.

    The issue calls for complete transparency and if the Court accepts the government suggestion, it would amount to keeping the other side in the dark, the Court underscored.

    “We will not accept the sealed cover suggestion by you because we want to maintain full transparency and if we accept suggestions in sealed cover it is like we have kept it away from other side as people will think it is a government appointed committee,” said the CJI.

    If we accept suggestions, we should disclose it to the other side so that there is transparency, the Court made it clear.

    “So we will appoint the committee and appoint members on our own,” the bench said.

    The bench then proceeded to hear the petitioners before reserving its verdict in the matter.

    The Court also made it clear that it will not appoint a sitting judge to the committee to examine the issue.

    The Court also refused to did not take a favourable view of the Central government’s submission that the impact of the report on market was nil.

    “But you have said impact on the market is zero.. going by what you said. But stats say investors faced lakhs of crores worth losses,” the Court remarked.

    The Court was hearing four petitions concerning the report published by short-seller Hindenburg Research alleging fraud on the part of the conglomerate, as a result of which the Adani Group suffered losses crossing $100 billion.

    Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma’s plea sought directions to the SEBI and the Union Home Ministry to conduct an inquiry and register a First Information Report (FIR) against founder of Hindenburg Research, Nathan Anderson, and his associates in India.

    Sharma also filed an application for a gag order to halt media reports concerning listed companies unless such reports are first filed with and verified by the SEBI.

    Advocate Vishal Tiwari sought an inquiry into the Hindenburg report by a committee headed by a retired judge of the top court. Tiwari has also sought the setting up of a special committee to oversee a sanctioning policy for loans of more than ₹500 crore.

    Another petitioner, Congress leader Jaya Thakur sought the prosecution of the Adani group of companies under various laws and questioning the decision of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest in Adani shares at allegedly inflated prices.

    Thakur also urged the Court to direct a probe under the supervision of a sitting Supreme Court judge.

    Another plea the Court heard today was filed by one Anamika Jaiswal.

    Earlier, the bench had raised concern over the fact that concerned Indian investors have suffered losses running into several lakh crores.

    The Central government had earlier told the apex court that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is completely equipped to deal with the fallout of the report.

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