A new affidavit in the Supreme Court has accused market regulator SEBI of conflict of interest in its probe against the Adani Group. The affidavit has also named UK Sinha, who served as chairman at the regulatory body between 2011 and 2017, and was appointed as non-executive chairperson of NDTV after Adani acquired the channel in March this year.
The petitioner, Anamika Jaiswal, has pointed to fresh allegations in the , and claimed that the Securities and Exchange Board of India suppressed facts before the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Hindenburg case against Adani.
Jaiswal has alleged that the board brought in multiple amendments to “shield” regulatory contraventions and price manipulations by Adani group.
SEBI was reportedly warned that something was amiss as early as 2014, just before the Lok Sabha Elections, by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. But Jaiswal’s affidavit has alleged that SEBI suppressed and concealed this information and never conducted any investigation based on the DRI alert. The affidavit said Sinha was the chairman then.
Meanwhile, recently before the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Hindenburg case against Adani, SEBI reportedly did not even reveal that it had been informed by DRI about alleged stock manipulation back in 2014. The market regulator instead told the court that it began its investigation in 2020 based on complaints in the same year.
After the OCCRP report, Sinha was asked by about the allegations. “You should not expect me in all fairness to remember everything what happened nine years ago, given that I retired from SEBI six years ago,” he said. “I don’t recollect what the facts are.”
As per Jaiswal’s affidavit, SEBI has filed 22 of the 24 investigations arising out of the Hindenburg report were final. But the board has not disclosed findings in any of these probes, it claimed.
The affidavit has also claimed that Cyril Shroff, managing partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, has been a member of SEBI’s committee on corporate governance, which looks at offences such as insider trading. It claimed that Shroff’s daughter is married to Gautam Adani’s son Karan Adani.