Giving a six-month extension to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to complete its investigation against the Adani Group would send an impression that the probe against the conglomerate was not to pursue the charges but to bury them, the Congress said on May 1.
Last week, market regulator SEBI moved the Supreme Court to seek an extension to complete its investigation. On March 2, the court asked the SEBI to probe the matter within two months and also set up a panel to look into the protection of Indian investors after a damning report by a U.S. short-seller wiped out more than $140 billion of the group’s market value.
Congress general secretary (in-charge, communications) Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to reiterate that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe was needed to fully investigate the Adani issue but a speedy SEBI investigation was also required to get to the bottom of the “very serious allegations”.
“SEBI has found many irregularities worthy of investigation in the Adani Mega Scam, and we urge it to pursue each lead to its logical conclusion. But a long six-month extension risks the perception that the investigation is not being vigorously and seriously pursued but is being buried, as happened with at least two previous SEBI investigations into the Adani Group,” tweeted Mr. Ramesh, tagging a news report.
“India needs a JPC to fully investigate Modani, but it also needs a speedy SEBI investigation to get to the bottom of the very serious allegations,” he added.
The SEBI, in its application before the top court, said that it would take six more months to ascertain possible violations related to misrepresentation of financials, circumvention of regulations and/or fraudulent nature of transactions.
The Adani Group, however, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and maintained that the Hindenburg report was a motivated one.