Any panel other than a JPC will be an exercise in exoneration, says Congress on Adani issue

The proposal before the Supreme Court to set up of a committee by the government ‘can hardly ensure independence of investigation or transparency’, says Jairam Ramesh

February 16, 2023 02:23 pm | Updated 08:51 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh | File Photo

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh | File Photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Opposing the setting up of a committee to examine the regulatory mechanism post the Hindenburg-Adani allegations, the Congress on Thursday said any panel other than a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) would be an “exercise in legitimisation and exoneration”.

Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh, in a statement, said that the proposal before the Supreme Court to set up a committee by the government “can hardly ensure independence of investigation or transparency”.

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A Supreme Court bench on February 13, while hearing petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg matter, discussed the creation of a committee of experts to examine the regulatory regime post the allegations made by the U.S.-based short-seller.

“Where the allegations are of close, intertwined proximity between the ruling dispensation, the Government of India and the Adani Group, the setting up of a committee with terms of reference proposed by the Government of India can hardly carry any insignia or reassurance of independence or transparency,” Mr. Ramesh said.

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“It is an exercise initiated by the two principal actors — the government and the Adani Group — to cover up, avoid, evade and bury all genuine scrutiny. It is becoming clear that the proposed Committee is part of a carefully orchestrated exercise by these vested interests to prevent any real investigation into the Adani Group’s relationship with the ruling regime,” the Congress leader alleged.

He said that given the nature of allegations and the “link” between the ruling dispensation and the Adani Group, it was imperative that the ruling regime was examined in the full light of day by elected officials. “If the Prime Minister and his government are to be held accountable, any committee other than a JPC will be nothing but an exercise in legitimisation and exoneration,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“An evaluation of the regulatory and statutory regime by experts is in no manner equivalent to an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Such a committee, however competently staffed, cannot be a substitute for a thorough investigation into the political-corporate nexus that has come to light in the last two weeks. It simply does not have the authority, resources, or jurisdiction to examine the issues that the Opposition has raised,” he said.

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