SC should take cognisance of fresh allegations against Adani Group: AAP
"I urge the apex court to take cognisance of the OCCRP report and take strictest action against Adani," AAP leader Sanjay Singh told a press conference here
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) slammed the BJP-led Centre on Thursday following fresh allegations against the Adani Group and requested the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the charges, demanding "strictest action" against the business conglomerate.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party also said a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) should be set up to probe the charges against the Adani Group and alleged that capital market regulator SEBI or any other government agency will not be able to bring out the truth in the matter as industrialist Gautam Adani is the "closest friend" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The AAP's demand came after the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) trained its guns on the Adani Group on Thursday, alleging that hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in the publicly-traded group stocks through Mauritius-based "opaque" investment funds managed by the partners of the promoter family.
In a statement, the Adani Group categorically rejected what it called "recycled allegations", describing those as "yet another concerted bid by Soros-funded interests supported by a section of the foreign media to revive the meritless Hindenburg report".
"I urge the apex court to take cognisance of the OCCRP report and take strictest action against Adani," AAP leader Sanjay Singh told a press conference here.
"The SEBI cannot probe the allegations against the Adani Group, because the matter is related to Narendra Modi's closest friend, Gautam Adani," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Both the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the expert committee set up to probe the charges levelled against Adani Group by US-based short seller Hindenburg Research are misleading the Supreme Court, he alleged.
AAP's national spokesperson Reena Gupta demanded that a JPC be constituted for a thorough probe in the matter, "because it is clear that neither the SEBI nor any other agency" will be able to investigate the allegations against the Adani Group.
The fresh allegations levelled by the OCCRP, funded by the likes of billionaire-philanthropist George Soros and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund came months after Hindenburg Research wiped away close to USD 150 billion in value of Adani Group stocks, with allegations of accounting fraud, stock-price manipulation and improper use of tax havens by the ports-to-energy conglomerate. The Adani Group has denied all the allegations levelled against it by the US-based short seller.
Citing a review of files from multiple tax havens and internal Adani Group e-mails, the OCCRP said its investigation has found at least two cases where "mysterious" investors bought and sold Adani stocks through offshore structures.
Two men, Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling, who the OCCRP claimed have long-time business ties to the Adani family and have also served as directors and shareholders in group companies and firms associated with Gautam Adani's elder brother Vinod Adani, "spent years buying and selling Adani stocks through offshore structures that obscured their involvement and made considerable profits in the process".
Documents "show that the management company in charge of their investments paid a Vinod Adani company to advise them in their investment", the OCCRP alleged.