Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked the Supreme Court for 15 days more to complete its inquiry into a report by U.S.-based Hindenburg Research accusing the Adani Group of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud schemes over the course of decades”.
A report by the court’s own six-member expert committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice A.M. Sapre had said that the SEBI had “drawn a blank” and was in a “chicken-and-egg situation” in its investigation into the “ownership” of 13 overseas entities, including 12 Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs), associated with the group.
The SEBI had differed with the findings of the Justice Sapre committee. It had countered that the “challenge” to its inquiry into the Hindenburg-Adani allegations case lay in the fact that the requirement to disclose the “last natural person” or the ultimate owner of FPIs remained non-existent.
The SEBI, however, said it had “substantially progressed” in its investigations. The market regulator, in an eight-page application, informed the top court it had already probed 24 “matters”.
“Out of the 24 investigations/examinations, 17 are final and complete and approved by the competent authority in accordance with SEBI’s extant practice and procedures,” the application said.
In one case, the probe was completed and an interim report approved by the competent authority, however more information was sought from foreign jurisdictions.