Congress Leader Jaya Thakur moves SC seeking criminal prosecution of Adani group

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Thakur has alleged that LIC and SBI invested in Adani shares at the rate of ₹ 3,200 per share when the share price in the secondary market was between ₹ 1,600 and ₹ 1,800.

Congress Leader Jaya Thakur has filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking the prosecution of the Adani Group and questioning the decision of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest in Adani shares at allegedly inflated prices.

Notably, the Supreme Court had today allowed urgent mentioning of plea filed by Thakur seeking investigation against Adani Group over allegations made by US-based Hindenburg Research.

A Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud led bench has tagged the matter along with other similar petitions seeking investigation against Hindenburg Research and listed the matter for hearing on February 17.

Recently, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had submitted his apprehension before the Supreme Court on appointing an expert committee to look into the Hindenburg Report.

"Existing agencies are fully equipped. However, responding to your lordships suggestions, we have no objection in constituting a committee. The only thing is, we don't want to send a message that a government agency needs to be overseen by a committee...", the SG had submitted before a CJI Chandrachud led bench.

SG had added that this needed to be considered as foreign investment must not be hampered.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court had directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to submit an overall report on the situation.

The bench also comprising Justices Narasimha and Pardiwala had thus ordered that the report may consist of details like the existing regulatory framework, relevant causal factors, the need for putting into place robust mechanisms to regulate the market etc.

CJI Chandrachud led bench had recently agreed to hear a plea which also sought direction to set up a committee monitored by a retired apex court judge to investigate the Hindenburg Research report.

The Supreme Court also took up Advocate ML Sharma's petition which seeks to declare 'short-selling' as an offence of fraud. The said petition seeks an investigation against Nathan Anderson, the founder of Hindenburg, "for exploiting innocent Investors via short selling under the garb of artificial crashing".

On January 24, a US-based investment research firm named Hindenburg Research published a report titled 'Adani Group: How The World’s 3rd Richest Man Is Pulling The Largest Con In Corporate History', making allegations against the conglomerate, saying that the group has been involved 'in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.' 

The report led to a stock rout, erasing over $ 100 billion from Adani's empire and pushing him down on the global rich list. Also, the report came two days before a $2.5 billion follow-up public offering was issued by Adani Enterprises.