New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to constitute a committee monitored by a retired apex court judge to inquire and investigate into the Hindenburg Research report which has made a slew of allegations against the business conglomerate led by industrialist Gautam Adani. Advocate Vishal Tiwari, who has filed the petition, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on Thursday.
Tiwari told the bench, also comprising Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, that a separate plea filed on the issue is scheduled to be listed for hearing on February 10.
“A similar petition is coming up tomorrow,” he said, adding, “This pertains to the Hindenburg Research report which has tarnished the image of the country and caused loss.” He urged the bench that his plea be also heard on Friday along with the separate plea. “All right. Tag it,” the CJI said.
In his public interest litigation (PIL), Tiwari has also sought directions to set up a special committee to oversee the sanction policy for loans of over Rs 500 crore given to big corporates. Last week, another PIL was filed in the apex court by advocate M L Sharma seeking prosecution of short seller Nathan Anderson of US-based firm Hindenburg Research and his associates in India and the US for allegedly exploiting innocent investors and the “artificial crashing” of Adani Group’s stock value in the market.
The Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate. The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.
In his plea, Tiwari has said the petition depicts the “drastic condition and fate of people” when there is a situation of share fall in the securities market due to various reasons.
“Lots of people, who had their whole lifetime saving in such stocks, get a maximum setback due to fall in such shares with a huge amount of money going into the drain,” the PIL submitted.
“In the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on billionaire Gautam Adani’s vast empire by Hindenburg, the market value of all 10 Adani stocks have halved with investors sitting with a colossal loss…,” the plea filed by Tiwari submitted. It claimed that no concrete steps have been taken by authorities on the issue despite a “massive attack being perpetrated” on the country’s economy.
“It is ultimately the public money for which the respondents (Centre and others) are answerable and there needs to be strict concern for mitigating of such loans with a clear process and sanction policy for such high stake loan amount,” it said. The plea has made the Centre and others, including the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India, as respondents.