New Delhi: Market regulator Sebi has told the Supreme Court that the allegations that it has been investigating the Adani Group since 2016 are “factually baseless”. Sebi also cautioned that “any incorrect or premature conclusion of the case arrived at without full facts material on record would not serve the ends of justice and hence would be legally untenable”.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in a rejoinder affidavit submitted in the apex court, said: “The allegation that Securities and Exchange Board of India is investigating Adani since 2016 is factually baseless…”
It further added, “The application for extension of time filed by Sebi is meant to ensure carriage of justice keeping in mind the interest of investors and the securities market since any incorrect or premature conclusion of the case arrived at without full facts material on record would not serve the ends of justice, and hence would be legally untenable.”
The Sebi said, “In the context of investigation into Minimum Public Shareholding (MPS) norms, Sebi has already approached eleven overseas Regulators under the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU) with the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Various requests for information were made to these Regulators. The first request to overseas Regulators was made as early as on October 6, 2020.”
On May 12, the Supreme Court indicated that it may grant three months more to the Sebi to complete its probe into the controversy surrounding the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group of companies.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala said it accepts petitioners’ point that Sebi cannot take indefinitely long period to complete its probe and “we are not going to give them six months, we give them three months…” and added that it is not keen on accepting Sebi’s request to grant six-month extension to complete the probe.
On April 29, the Sebi moved the Supreme Court seeking six-months extension to complete its probe into Hindenburg allegations of “stock manipulation” by the Adani group.
The top court on Monday is likely to pronounce order on Sebi’s plea.