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SC to deliver verdict on Adani-Hindenburg row over market manipulation allegations today

Adani-Hindenburg row: Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan argued that SEBI's role was suspect, while Solicitor General Tushar Mehta defended SEBI's actions, highlighting the global tendency to influence Indian policies.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: January 03, 2024 6:49 IST
Supreme Court
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Supreme Court of India building.

The Supreme Court is poised to announce its verdict on Wednesday regarding the Adani-Hindenburg dispute, addressing allegations of stock price manipulation against the Indian corporate giant, Adani Group. The bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, will deliver the judgment at 10:30 AM on four petitions filed by lawyers Vishal Tiwari, M L Sharma, Congress leader Jaya Thakur, and Anamika Jaiswal. These petitions assert that the Adani Group, closely associated with the Modi government, artificially inflated its share prices, leading to a significant decline after the release of a report by short-seller Hindenburg Research.

The bench had reserved its judgment on November 24 last year. During the proceedings, the court expressed no inclination to "discredit" the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which investigated the allegations against the Adani Group. The court emphasized that it doesn't automatically consider the Hindenburg report as a true reflection of events and directed SEBI to conduct further investigations. It also questioned SEBI on its plans to prevent investor wealth loss due to market volatility or short-selling in the future.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan argued during the proceedings that SEBI's role was questionable, citing available information as far back as 2014. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing SEBI, countered, highlighting a growing trend of planting stories outside India to influence internal matters. Mehta mentioned that investigations in 22 out of 24 cases related to allegations against the Adani group were concluded.

One of the PILs alleged that amendments to the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act (SEBI Act) provided a shield for the Adani Group's regulatory contraventions and market manipulations. In response, the Supreme Court instructed SEBI to conduct an independent investigation and established a committee of experts headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice AM Sapre.

The Hindenburg Research report, containing allegations of fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation against the Adani Group, impacted its stocks on the stock exchanges. The Adani Group vehemently denied the charges, asserting compliance with all laws and disclosure requirements. The forthcoming Supreme Court verdict holds significance as it will determine the legal ramifications of the market manipulation allegations against the Adani Group.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also read | Adani Green Energy inks pact with SECI for supply of 1,799 MW solar power, completes 8,000 MW tender


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