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Adani-Hindenburg row: SEBI’s inability to reach final conclusion ‘deeply worrying’, says Congress

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NEW DELHI, Aug 26: The Congress on Saturday said stock market regulator SEBI’s inability to reach a
conclusive finding on the allegations of round-tripping and money laundering by the Adani Group was
“deeply worrying”.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has
admitted this in its status report to the Supreme Court and added only a Joint Parliamentary Committee
(JPC) can examine how the government flouted norms and procedures to help Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s “favourite business group”.
“The inability of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to reach a conclusive finding on
allegations of round-tripping and money laundering by the Adani Group, as it has admitted in its 25th
August 2023 status report to the Supreme Court, is deeply troubling,” Ramesh said in a statement.
Sharing the statement on ‘X’, he posted, “SEBI’s inability to reach a final conclusion in the matter of
round-tripping and money-laundering allegations against the Adani Group is deeply worrying.”
The Congress leader said that of the 24 matters SEBI investigated relating to the matter, two still have
interim status.
Ramesh said one of the interim reports relates to the important question of whether Adani violated the
Minimum Public Shareholding requirement under Rule 19A of the Securities Contracts (Regulation)
Rules.
“In simple terms, did Adani use opaque entities based in overseas tax havens to engage in the kind of
round-tripping and money laundering that the PM has always claimed to oppose? SEBI has stated that
the reason for delay is that information from external agencies and entities is still awaited,” he added.
The country, Ramesh said, is clearly paying a heavy price for the SEBI’s decision in 2018 to dilute and in
2019 to delete the reporting requirements relating to the ultimate beneficial ownership of foreign
funds.
The Congress leader noted no less than the Supreme Court’s Expert Committee pointed out that the
reason the SEBI has failed to identify beneficial ownership of overseas investors in Adani companies was
that “the securities market regulator suspects wrongdoing” but is “drawing a blank worldwide” due to
its “piquant” decision to remove these stipulations.
“The reintroduction of strict reporting rules following the SEBI board’s 28 June 2023 meeting represents
a public admission of guilt by the regulatory body, even though the horse has bolted the stable,”
Ramesh claimed.
“Final reports on these critical questions are awaited. Will the SEBI do its fiduciary duty and identify the
source of the Rs 20,000 crore of benami overseas funds that have flowed into the Adani Group?” he
asked.
The Congress leader said only a JPC can examine how the Modi government “flouted rules, norms and
procedures to help the PM’s favourite business group…”
The SEBI on Friday informed the apex court that it has completed the probe in all but two allegations
against the Adani Group and is still awaiting information from five tax havens on actual owners behind
foreign investors investing in the conglomerate.The US short-seller Hindenburg Research, in a report
released on January 24, alleged accounting fraud, stock price manipulation and improper use of tax
havens by the Adani Group, triggering a stock market rout.
The Adani Group has denied all allegations by Hindenburg. (PTI)

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