New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday said it would pronounce its order on Monday on market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) plea seeking six more months to complete the probe into US short seller Hindenburg’s allegations against India’s leading business conglomerate Adani Group.
The SEBI recently moved the Supreme Court saying that the probe could not be completed and thereby it needed six more months time.
“We will pronounce the orders on SEBI’s application on Monday,” a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chadrachud and also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and P S Narasimha said.
The Apex Court also said that it could not read Justice (retd) A M Sapre’s report, due to the heavy workload, and thereby, it will, meanwhile, read the report, and consider SEBI’s application and pass an order on Monday. “We will therefore pass the orders on Monday,” the Top Court said.
The Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, representing SEBI, told the Apex Court that the market regulator has filed an application seeking an extension of six more months to complete the probe.
“SEBI needs six more months time to complete the probe,” the SG said.
This is the minimum time the SEBI requires to complete the probe, Mehta told the Supreme Court’s special bench.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the petitioners, said that the SEBI is a partner of an inter-nation cooperation IOSCO. All countries even tax haven countries are members. Treaty of IOSCO says that any member country can seek any information and no secrecy is there.
Bhushan said that there is a master circular issued by SEBI on December 19, 2022 for foreign portfolios and investors. One of the clauses is that all of them must disclose the ultimate beneficial owner.
The CJI, during the course of the hearing, clarified that the SEBI’s application seeking six more months time to complete the probe seems to be unrealistic.
He suggested and indicated that this court can give three more months time to SEBI, but not six months.
The CJI-led bench said, when it had sought report from Justice Sapre-led committee and SEBI in twp months on Adani-Hindeburg controversy, it is not proper for SEBI to seek six months more to complete the probe.
“We will give you three more months to complete the probe. Let there be some alacrity,” the CJI said.
One of the petitioners, Vishal Tiwari opposed the plea of SEBI and told the Apex Court that six more months is a huge period, and in fact, the SEBI had already started investing the matter even before the Supreme Court heard the case. UNI