Securities and Exchange Board of India chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch, in her first press appearance since the Adani-Hindenburg issue rocked the country, categorically said the regulator will not comment on it as the matter is sub-judice.
On March 2, the Supreme Court set up an expert committee amid the controversy arising out of a report by US short seller Hindenburg Research on the Adani Group. It directed SEBI to investigate whether there has been a violation of Section 19 of SEBI rules and any manipulation of stock prices. “We never comment on entity-specific matters and on top of that, the matter is before the Supreme Court. We never comment on sub-judice matters,” Buch said at a press conference after its board meeting.
“We will follow the advice of the Supreme Court. We are duty-bound to follow whatever the Supreme Court has said,” she said, adding, “We will follow the Supreme Court order in letter and spirit.”
Further, she informed that the apex court has instructed the regulator to precisely give the update to the committee and it will be inappropriate to comment on the matter.
The January 24 Hindenburg report alleged stock manipulation and accounting fraud by the conglomerate. Over the past few weeks since the Hindenburg report, share prices of most companies in the Adani Group have dropped significantly, though in varying degrees.
In response to the US short seller’s report, the Adani Group had hit back, calling Hindenburg Research “an unethical short seller” and stating that the report was “nothing but a lie”. The continued sell-offs in the group’s stocks led its flagship firm, Adani Enterprises Limited, to cancel a fully subscribed Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offer.
Adani Group on January 29, in a long 413-page report, said the report by Hindenburg Research was not an attack on any specific company but a “calculated attack” on India and its growth story.