Adani case: Supreme Court rejects Centre's sealed cover for panel
The Supreme Court (SC) rejected the Centre's sealed envelope suggestions on an expert panel on Friday, noting that it would form its own committee to oversee investor protection issues in the aftermath of the Hindenburg Research report, reported CNBC. Earlier, the SC suggested an expert committee to improve and review the current framework for investor protection.
Why does this story matter?
The stocks of the Adani Group have taken a thrashing on the bourses after a report from Hindenburg Research on January 24 made allegations of share-price manipulation and fraudulent transactions against the Gautam Adani-led business conglomerate. This has sparked a massive row, but the Adani Group has refuted the report and said it complies with every law and disclosure requirement.
Want to maintain full transparency: SC bench
Stating that it wants to maintain complete transparency in the investors' interest, a bench comprising of Justices JB Pardiwala, PS Narasimha, and Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud claimed it would rather not accept the suggestion in a sealed cover from the government. "We will not accept the sealed cover suggestion by you because we want to maintain full transparency," said the bench.
Centre's sealed suggestions should be disclosed to other side: SC
The bench stressed that the Centre's sealed suggestions should be disclosed to the other side, adding that if it does not want to disclose, it needs to trust the SC to form its own committee. On February 10, the SC asked the government to consider setting up a panel of experts led by an ex-judge to look into ways to strengthen the regulatory mechanism.
Four PILs filed in SC so far
So far, four Public Interest Litigation (PIL) have been filed in the apex court by Congress leader Jaya Thakur, lawyers Vishal Tiwari and ML Sharma, and activist Mukesh Kumar. As per Thakur, the leading public sector banks' role should also be investigated while demanding a probe into the role of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for exposure of Rs. 30,000 crore in the Adani conglomerate.
Should investigate LIC's role in price manipulation: Thakur
"Need to probe if LIC was used for warehousing operations for price manipulation of Adani shares," said Thakur. "People in expert panel should be persons who command public confidence," she added.
Fresh controversy around Adani-Hindenburg row
In a new twist in the Adani-Hindenburg saga, billionaire investor George Soros claimed that the ongoing turmoil involving Adani's empire might open the gate for a democratic revival in India. While speaking at the 2023 Munich Security Conference on Thursday, the 92-year-old billionaire also alleged that the business troubles of the Adani Group may weaken the Narendra Modi-led government.
Modi will need to answer questions from foreign investors: Soros
"Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies; Adani is accused of stock manipulation (but) Modi is silent on the subject... he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament," Soros said. "This will significantly weaken Modi's stranglehold on India's federal government and open the door to push for much-needed institutional reforms," Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
Modi's rise fueled by inciting violence against Muslims: Soros
The Hungarian billionaire also claimed that Prime Minister Modi "is no democrat," alleging that "inciting violence against Muslims was a major factor in his meteoric rise." The remarks coincide with the ongoing British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary controversy surrounding Modi and his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the recent raids by the IT Department on its offices in Mumbai and Delhi.
BJP hits back at Soros
Soros's comments did not go down too well among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday calling upon Indians to unitedly respond to "foreign powers who try to intervene in India's democratic processes." The BJP leader also stated that Soros's main aim is PM Modi, and he wants to overthrow his government, reported news agency ANI.
Soros funding billions of dollars to target Modi: Irani
"The man who broke the Bank of England, and is designated by the nation an economic war criminal, has now pronounced his desire to break Indian democracy," the Union Minister said. "It is evident from his statements that he has pronounced funding over one billion dollars particularly to target leaders like PM Modi is significant," added Irani.Share this timeline