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Home > News > India News > Article > SC verdict on Adani matter extraordinarily generous to SEBI will fight crony capitalism Congress

SC verdict on Adani matter 'extraordinarily generous' to SEBI, will fight crony capitalism: Congress

Updated on: 03 January,2024 04:56 PM IST  |  New Delhi
PTI |

In a relief to the Adani Group, the Supreme Court refused to transfer the probe into the allegations of stock price manipulation by the Indian corporate giant to a special investigation team and directed market regulator SEBI to complete its probe into two pending cases within three months

SC verdict on Adani matter 'extraordinarily generous' to SEBI, will fight crony capitalism: Congress

Jairam Ramesh. File Pic

The Congress on Wednesday said the Supreme Court judgment on certain matters relating to transactions by the Adani Group has proven to be "extraordinarily generous" to SEBI and asserted that the party's fight against crony capitalism and its ill-effects on prices, employment and inequalities will continue.


In a relief to the Adani Group, the Supreme Court refused to transfer the probe into the allegations of stock price manipulation by the Indian corporate giant to a special investigation team and directed market regulator SEBI to complete its probe into two pending cases within three months.


Reacting to the judgement, billionaire Gautam Adani said, "The Hon'ble Supreme Court's judgement shows that: Truth has prevailed. Satyameva Jayate."


In a statement on the judgement, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh hit out at Adani, saying "truth dies a thousand deaths when we hear Satyameva Jayate from those who have gamed, manipulated and subverted the system this past decade".

Ramesh said the Supreme Court judgment on certain matters relating to transactions by the Adani Group has proven "extraordinarily generous" to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), not least by extending its original investigation deadline of August 14, 2023 by another three months to April 3, 2024.

It is noteworthy that SEBI has "failed" to complete its investigation into the violation of securities laws and stock manipulation by the Adani Group and its associates ten months after the Supreme Court's expert committee asked it to do so, Ramesh said.

"It is unclear what will change in the next three months other than the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha elections coming into effect," he said.

Meanwhile, a series of exposés from credible news sources has turned the glare on the Adani Group's "illicit activities" conducted under SEBI's "benign gaze", Ramesh said.

In his statement, the Congress leader pointed out that the most recent revelations include the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealing the actual ownership of two of the 13 benami shell companies that SEBI has failed to identify despite years of "investigation".

Chang Chung-Ling and Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli held 8-14% of benami holdings in Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Adani Power and Adani Transmission, he alleged.

This was via shell companies in Mauritius, UAE and British Virgin Islands in blatant violation of SEBI's minimum shareholding laws, Ramesh claimed.

On October 12, 2023, the Financial Times reported how coal trading firms controlled by Chang Chung-Ling and Mohamed Ali Shaban Ahli siphoned out Rs 12,000 crore by over-invoicing coal imported by the Adani Group to Mundra Port in Gujarat, Ramesh said.

"The two exposés established a clear link between money flowing out from the pockets of Indian coal utilities and electricity consumers and the funds flowing into Adani Group companies, in complete violation of SEBI rules relating to minimum ownership as well as stock manipulation," Ramesh claimed.

He said that the court is right to observe that news reports are not a substitute for a proper SEBI investigation.

However, it is concerning that SEBI has asked for extension after extension while the media has produced exposé after exposé, he said.

"Those describing this judgement as a 'clean chit' are the same as those who described the Expert Committee report as a 'clean chit'," Ramesh said.

The Expert Committee had pointed out that SEBI had in 2018 diluted and subsequently, in 2019, entirely deleted the reporting requirements relating to the ultimate beneficial (i.e. actual) ownership of foreign funds, he said.

"It is also worth noting that, regarding the Modani MegaScam, SEBI's mandate is limited to violations of securities regulations. It will not, for instance, look into how the Modi government manipulating bidding conditions over the objections of the NITI Aayog and Finance Ministry to hand Adani a complete airports monopoly, and has misused the ED and CBI to force critical national assets into the hands of the PM's cronies," he alleged.

"Or whether the PM forced the State Bank of India to sign an MoU to lend Adani USD 1 billion over a lunch meeting, or how the Modi government has forced important neighbouring countries to hand over critical projects to the PM's favourite businessman," Ramesh said.

He stressed that it will not investigate how the Maharashtra government "moved heaven and earth to hand over" the Dharavi Redevelopment Project to Adani at very favourable terms or how Adani has been allowed to inflate consumers' electricity bills.

"To get to the bottom of the Modani MegaScam, nothing less than a JPC (joint parliamentary committee) will do," Ramesh said.

"None of the hundred pointed questions asked in our Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun series last year stand answered after today's judgment. Our fight for NYAY against crony capitalism and its ill-effects on prices, employment and inequalities will continue even more forcefully," the Congress leader said in his statement.

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