Breaking: Adani-Hindenburg Row- Supreme Court Constitutes Expert Committee Headed By Retired Justice AM Sapre
The Supreme Court today passed an order in a batch of cases seeking an investigation into the situation that arose after the Hindenburg Report on the Adani Groups of companies constituting an Expert Committee to suggest measures to strengthen the regulatory framework. The Committee will be headed by retired Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala while dictating the order said that the batch of petitions pertains to the loss of investors' wealth. The Court referred to the note placed on record by the SEBI and Advocate Prashant Bhushan.
The Court said that SEBI is seized of the investigation into the Hindenburg Report. The Court directed that SEBI shall investigate some aspects of the Hindenburg report, while clarifying that the directions should not be construed as limiting the contours of SEBI's investigation and that the same should be concluded within two months.
The Court constituted an expert committed comprising O. P. Bhatt, Justice JP Devadhar, K. V. Kamath, Nandan Nilekani, Senior Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan and headed by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre. The Committee has been directed to submit its report within two months.
"How do we ensure, in future, we have a robust mechanism in place to ensure that the Indian investors are protected? How do we ensure that this does not happen? What role is envisaged for SEBI?", the CJI had asked during the hearing.
Earlier, while considering the plea, the Court said that it wants to ensure that the resultant loss to Indian investors does not happen again in future.
On February 24, the Court declined to issue gag orders restraining media from reporting the Adani-Hindenburg issue till the Court pronounces its order. Media has been creating a ‘sensation’ in the matter, said Advocate ML Sharma, one of the petitioner-in-person, whose plea is against Hindenburg.
On February 17, the Apex Court reserved its order in the matter and said that it will constitute a committee of its own.
The CJI-led Bench refused to accept the suggestions in a sealed cover handed over by the Solicitor General containing the remit of the committee proposed to be constituted by the Court.
The Court had said that it wants full transparency. Even if we have not accepted your suggestion, they may say that it is a government-appointed committee, the CJI said. If you don't want to disclose to the other side, then we will come out with our own suggestions.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan had said that retired judges of the Apex Court who "command public confidence" should be on the committee.
In the PIL, petitioner-Vishal Tiwari has also sought directions to set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court Judge to investigate high-power loans. The plea states that after the publication of the Hindenburg Report, various investors have lost massive amounts who invested their savings in such shares. He has sought directions for forming a Committee under the monitoring of a retired Supreme Court Judge to enquire into the Hindenburg Research Report.
The petitioner has also prayed to set up a special committee for overseeing sanction policy for high-power loans of more than 500 crores that are given to big corporates.
In the other plea, Advocate ML Sharma has alleged that “short sellers, i.e. Anderson resident of USA and his Indian entities hatched a criminal conspiracy did short sale in hundreds of billion dollars prior and thereafter on 25th January 2023 they released concocted news as a research report qua to the Adani Group of the companies, got crash share market and squared up their short sell position at the lowest rate. They secured billions of profits by butchering the citizens of India". The plea seeks inquiry to prosecute by registering F.I.R. against Anderson and his associates.
Cause Title- Vishal Tiwari v. Union of India & Ors.