The Supreme Court on Friday, 17 February, rejected the centre's sealed cover report including names for the expert committee, which will look into what is to be done in the aftermath of the Adani-Hindenburg row.
"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."A bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala
The case: The court was hearing four petitions related to the report published by short-seller Hindenburg Research, which alleged that the Adani Group had committed fraud. In the wake of the report, the conglomerate had suffered losses of more that $ 100 billion.
Where did expert committee suggestions come from? Last week, the bench, while seeking suggestions from the Centre and SEBI, had proposed the forming of an expert committee to suggest ways to strengthen the regulatory framework and protect the interests of Indian investors.
The centre had then agreed to the court's suggestion on forming an expert committee but had requested the top court that the committee be formed in a way that doesn't convey to foreign and domestic investors that there are inadequacies in the regulatory framework.
The court reserved its judgment on Friday and said that it would instead appoint a committee on its own to avoid the impression that it is a government appointed committee.
Top court rebukes centre again: The Court also did not take too kindly to the government's submission that there was no impact of the report on the market.
"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 four petitions in detail:
1) Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma's plea demanded 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 seeking to halt media reports about listed companies unless such reports are first filed with and verified by the SEBI
2) Advocate Vishal Tiwari sought an inquiry into the report by a committee headed by a retired judge of the top court. He has also asked for the setting up of a special committee to oversee a sanctioning policy for loans of more than Rs 500 crore
3) Congress leader Jaya Thakur, in her petition has asked for the prosecution of the Adani group under multiple laws and has questioned the State Bank of India's (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation's (LIC) decision to invest in Adani shares at allegedly inflated prices
4) Another petition filed by Anamika Jaiswal has asked for a probe against Adani group based on the Hindenburg report
(With inputs from LiveLaw & Bar and Bench)
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