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Homechevron_rightBusinesschevron_rightAdani Case: Petitioner...

Adani Case: Petitioner cites ‘conflict of interest’ to seek reconstitution of probe panel

Adani Case: Petitioner cites ‘conflict of interest’ to seek reconstitution of probe panel

New Delhi: Expressing concerns regarding the impartiality of the investigation into alleged malpractices by the Adani Group, the petitioner has requested the Supreme Court to reconstitute the probe panel due to allegations of conflicts of interest involving two of its six members.

The panel, formed in March, was appointed to conduct an investigation following a damning report by American firm Hindenburg Research on January 24.

The report accused billionaire Gautam Adani's conglomerate of orchestrating the "largest con in corporate history," citing allegations of accounting fraud, improper use of tax havens, and money laundering.

Despite the Adani Group's staunch denial of these allegations, the report had a significant impact on the stock prices of its listed companies.

The panel, chaired by former Supreme Court Judge Justice AM Sapre, comprises former State Bank of India chairperson OP Bhat, retired Justice JP Devdatt, Infosys chairperson Nandan Nilekani, former ICICI bank chief KV Kamath, and advocate and securities regulatory expert Somasekharan Sundaresan.

In May, the panel submitted its interim report to the Supreme Court, stating that it could not conclusively determine whether there had been any regulatory failure in the case. It also highlighted that the Securities and Exchange Board of India's inquiry into suspected violations in foreign investments within the Adani Group had yielded no significant findings, raising concerns about the investigation's direction.

On Monday, petitioner Anamika Jaiswal, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Cheryl D'Souza, contended that OP Bhat serves as the chairperson of Greenko, a leading renewable energy company. Jaiswal claimed that Greenko has been closely involved in providing energy to Adani Group facilities in India since March 2022.

Additionally, Bhat was reportedly examined by the Central Bureau of Investigation in March 2018 in a case related to alleged wrongdoing in disbursing loans to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya. These allegations have led to claims of a clear conflict of interest on Bhat's part.

The petitioner also raised concerns about Sundaresan, who had previously represented the Adani Group as a lawyer before various forums, including the SEBI board. Further, the inclusion of KV Kamath, who served as the chairperson of ICICI Bank from 1996 to 2009, has been questioned, as he is said to have featured in the first information report of the Central Bureau of Investigation in the ICICI Bank fraud case.

In the plea presented to the Supreme Court, Jaiswal expressed apprehensions that the current expert committee might fail to inspire confidence among the public due to these alleged conflicts of interest.

The petitioner urged the court to consider forming a new expert committee consisting of individuals from the fields of finance, law, and the stock market, with impeccable integrity and no conflicts of interest related to the Adani-Hindenburg case.

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TAGS:Supreme CourtAdani CaseHindenburg ResearchAdani GroupGautam Adani
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