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February 24, 2024 4:54 am

Sebi probe into Adani drew blank: Supreme Court-appointed panel

New Delhi, May 19

An expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court said it cannot conclude any regulatory failure around Adani Group’s stock rallies, and that Sebi has “drawn a blank” in its probe into alleged violations in money flows from offshore entities into the conglomerate.

But the six-member panel said there was evidence of a build-up in short positions on Adani Group stocks ahead of the report of US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research, and profiting from squaring off positions after prices crashed post-publication of the damning allegations.

“At this stage, taking into account the explanations provided by Sebi, supported by empirical data, prima facie, it would not be possible for the committee to conclude that there has been a regulatory failure around the allegation of price manipulation,” the panel said in the report submitted to the Supreme Court.

It further said there is a need for an effective enforcement policy that is “coherent and consistent” with the legislative position adopted by Sebi.

According to the committee, it also cannot say that there has been a regulatory failure on Sebi’s part on minimum public shareholding rules or on related party transactions.

The apex court had appointed the committee parallel to the investigation that markets regulator Sebi was conducting into allegations against Adani Group and the plunge in the apples-to-port conglomerate’s shares, triggered by Hindenburg’s allegations.

The expert panel was headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice AM Sapre and comprised OP Bhatt, KV Kamath, Nandan Nilekani and Somsekhar Sundaresan.

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