Adani–Hindenburg case: Citing “conflict of interest”, petitioner urges SC to form new panel
The petitioner urged the Supreme Court to constitute a fresh committee with experts on finance, law and the stock market
Citing “conflict of interest”, a petitioner in the Adani–Hindenburg case on Monday, September 18, urged the Supreme Court to constitute a fresh committee of experts.
The petitioner, Anamika Jaiswal, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Cheryl D’Souza, contended that the former chairman of he State Bank of India, OP Bhatt, who is part of the expert committee, has links with the Adani Group.
Jaiswal urged the apex court to constitute a fresh expert committee comprising experts from the fields of finance, law and the stock market. She said the members should have “impeccable integrity and no conflict of interest”.
Bhatt is part of the Justice Sapre Committee that was formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the causal factors that led to investors losing crores due to volatility in the securities market following Hindenburg Research’s report.
According to Jaiswal, Bhatt has also served as the chairman of Greenko, a leading renewable energy company which has been “working in a close partnership with Adani Groups since 2002”.
Jaiswal said that the Justice Sapre Committee is therefore hit by “conflict of interest”.
“Since March 2022, Greenko and Adani Group are working in a close partnership to provide energy to Adani Groups facilities in India… OP Bhatt was examined by the CBI in March 2018 in a case of alleged wrongdoing in disbursing loans to the former liquor baron and fugitive economic offender, Vijay Mallya,” Jaiswal also added said.
The Justice Sapre Committee was constituted by the Supreme Court on 2 March.
The committee included former chairman of the State Bank of India OP Bhatt, retired Bombay High Court judge Justice JP Devadhar, former chief of the New Development Bank of BRIC countries KV Kamath, co-founder of Infosys Nandan Nilekani and securities expert and lawyer Somasekhar Sundaresan.
The expert committee had come out with a stinging criticism of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in its report, saying the market regulator had “drawn a blank” in its probe of the Adani–Hindenburg allegations.