Published on: 19 September 2023 at 14:49 IST
In a significant development related to the Adani Group’s alleged stock price manipulation following the Hindenburg Research Report, a plea has been presented before the Supreme Court requesting the formation of a fresh expert committee to investigate the matter.
Anamika Jaiswal, one of the initial petitioners in this case, has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest among members of the current committee.
Anamika Jaiswal, who previously approached the Supreme Court regarding related issues, filed an affidavit on Monday, highlighting alleged conflicts of interest involving two members of the existing expert committee: OP Bhatt and advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan. Jaiswal also mentioned that another committee member, KV Kamath, is facing criminal cases.
Regarding OP Bhatt, Jaiswal’s affidavit pointed out that he serves as the Chairman of Greenko, a prominent renewable energy company. Since March 2022, Greenko has been working closely with the Adani Group to supply energy to their facilities in India. Furthermore, Bhatt had been examined by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in March 2018 in connection with a case involving loans to Vijay Mallya, a former liquor baron and fugitive economic offender.
Regarding KV Kamath, Jaiswal noted that his name had surfaced in a criminal complaint filed by the CBI in the ICICI Bank fraud case. Kamath had previously served as the chairperson of ICICI.
Additionally, Jaiswal raised concerns about advocate Sundaresan, who had represented the Adani Group in various forums in the past.
In light of these potential conflicts of interest, Jaiswal expressed reservations about the current expert committee’s ability to impartially investigate the allegations against the Adani group. She urged the Supreme Court to consider forming a new expert committee consisting of individuals with expertise in finance, law, and the stock market, who have unquestionable integrity and no conflicts of interest related to this matter.
Anamika Jaiswal is among the petitioners who approached the Supreme Court seeking an examination of the controversy surrounding the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group of companies.
The Hindenburg report had alleged fraudulent activities within the Adani Group, specifically accusing them of inflating share prices. The report had a substantial impact, leading to a significant decline in the share value of various Adani companies, reportedly causing a loss of approximately $100 billion.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court established a committee headed by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice AM Sapre, to investigate these allegations. The Court also instructed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to conduct an independent investigation.
While the expert committee’s report, released in May, found no prima facie lapses on SEBI’s part, SEBI is yet to submit its report. Last month, SEBI requested a 15-day extension from the Supreme Court to provide a status report.