Adani-Hindenburg case: Supreme Court extends the time till August 14, 2023, for the SEBI to complete its probe

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Today, the Supreme Court of India passed an order in an application filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking more time of six months to complete the probe into allegations against Adani Group companies about stock price manipulations. The bench extended the time for the SEBI till 14 August 2023 for completing the probe. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice PS Narasimha asked the expert committee to continue assisting the Court regarding the progress of the probe. Also, the bench directed to share the report obtained by the expert committee with the parties involved in the case and their counsels. Earlier, the bench gave two months' time to SEBI for completing the probe into allegations made by the US-based short seller firm Hindenburg Research against Adani Group companies. While giving the order today, CJI said, “We granted 2 months and now extended it till August which makes it 5 months. If you have any genuine difficulty, tell us then.” 

During the proceedings of the case today, Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioner questioned the SEBI’s claim that it has not been investigating Adani group companies since 2016. On the contrary, Solicitor General submitted that the 2016 investigation was on a different issue, “In 2016, SEBI passed an order pertaining to 51 listed companies of India. No company of this group was a part of those 51 companies. My learned friend wants an inquiry on everything that happened to this company since 2016 or even 2008. That’s not the remit of this position. This petition concerns the Hindenburg report.” CJI told Bhushan, “We are on the Hindenburg report, and remit of the proceeding is not have a roving inquiry against the company. It is stated that the 2016 investigation related to Global depository receipts and 2020 is relating to Minimum Public Shareholding norms…”