No Conclusion Of Wrongdoing In SEBI Application To Supreme Court: Adani Group

Adani Group has repeatedly denied all the allegations in the Hindenburg report.

New Delhi:

Capital markets regulator SEBI has not concluded any wrongdoing in its application to the country’s top court, seeking six more months to complete a probe into allegations against Adani Group, the conglomerate run by billionaire Gautam Adani said.

The Supreme Court had on March 2 asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to conclude within two months its probe into allegations levelled by US short-seller Hindenburg Research against Adani Group.

SEBI was to file a status report on May 2 but on Saturday it made an application seeking an extension. Hindenburg in January accused Adani Group of accounting fraud and using a web of companies in tax havens to inflate revenue and stock prices, even as debt piled up.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied all the allegations. SEBI in its application filed on Saturday stated that it needs six months to “arrive at conclusive finding” in the case of those where “prima facie violations have been found” and “to revalidate the analysis and arrive at conclusive finding” where “prima facie violations have not been found.”

“It is pertinent to note that in the SEBI application filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, there are no conclusions of any alleged wrongdoing,” Adani Group said in a statement.

“The SEBI application only cites the allegations made in the short-seller’s report, which are still under investigation.”

In the statement, Adani said SEBI is conducting an investigation into allegations made by a foreign short-seller and also into market activity before and after the release of its report on January 24.

“We understand that SEBI has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court for more time to conclude its investigation,” it said.

“We have welcomed the investigation, which represents a fair opportunity for everyone to be heard and for all issues to be addressed. We are fully compliant with all laws, rules and regulations and are confident that truth will prevail. We are fully cooperating with SEBI and will continue to provide all our support and cooperation.” In its application to the Supreme Court, SEBI said it has crystallised two sets of categories for the probe. The first covers allegations made in the Hindenburg report.

The second category relates to trading in Adani Group stocks in the periods pre- and post-Hindenburg Report.

“SEBI has submitted a detailed status report and the prima facie findings to the Committee in compliance with the order passed by this Hon’ble Court,” the application said adding possible violations related to RPT, corporate governance, MPS, price manipulations and ODI norms require further time for conclusion.

The Supreme Court, while directing the setting up of a six-member committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice A M Sapre for the assessment of the extant regulatory framework and for making recommendations to strengthen the process, had said that it was appropriate to set up such a panel of experts in order to protect Indian investors against the volatility of the kind which has been witnessed in the recent past.

The Justice Sapre panel is to be provided assistance by the Centre and other statutory agencies, including the SEBI chairperson. The Centre had agreed to the top court’s proposal to set up a committee, to be headed by a former Supreme Court judge, to go into the regulatory regimes.

(Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group Company.)

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