Parliamentary Panel refuses to discuss Adani, discusses fall out of Silicon Valley Bank

Opposition members ask if the panel can probe the fallout of collapse of a private bank, why should it shy away from investigating an episode of market turbulence closer to home

April 04, 2023 08:15 pm | Updated 08:15 pm IST - New Delhi

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jayant Sinha. File

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jayant Sinha. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

At a meeting of Parliament Standing Committee on Finance headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jayant Sinha called to meet on the aftermath of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Monday, the Opposition members, according to the sources, renewed their demand for investigations into the failure of market regulators in the alleged stock manipulation by the Adani Group.

In Monday’s meeting, sources said, the Congress MPs — Pramod Tiwari and Gaurav Gogoi — forcefully argued, that if an Indian Parliamentary panel can investigate the fallout of collapse of a private bank whose headquarter is in Silicon Valley, America, why should it shy away from investigating an episode of market turbulence closer to home, which has affected several domestic investors and especially those who have savings in State Bank of India (SBI) and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which in turn has investments in the Adani group.

Mr. Tiwari, Mr. Gogoi and Lok Sabha MP Manish Tiwari have submitted a joint letter to the committee chairman Mr. Sinha, placing their demand for a investigation into the problems in the oversight mechanism in this case and violations of the laid down norms and procedure, on record.

The Opposition members had raised this demand originally in a meeting held on March 15. They demanded that the panel summon market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India and the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, to explain the findings of the Hindenburg findings on the Adani Group.

Matter is sub judice, says BJP

The BJP members led by former Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, had argued that not only is the matter sub judice since a SC-appointed committee is looking at dereliction of duty by the SEBI, it is beyond the permit of a Parliamentary panel to probe, a private entity.

“We can investigate the fall out of collapse of an American bank and failure of American regulators to check it, but the dereliction of Indian market regulator in case of the alleged stock manipulation by the Adani group, is beyond our ambit. This is absurd,” a member on the condition of anonymity told The Hindu.

The Congress MPs have also argued that the Hindenburg report has been in public domain for several weeks now and since the government refuse to accede to demand for a joint Parliamentary probe, at least the finance committee should be allowed to look into it.

“We have been already working on a report on the subject of performance of the entire market regulatory mechanism operational here. Parliamentary committees are non-partisan platforms and the deliberations here can be very constructive,” another member said.

At the end of the heated debate between the two sides, the question still remained unresolved. The Chairman Mr. Sinha, has refused to concede to the demands and the Opposition member said, that they will continue to raise their demand.

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