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Adani – Hindenburg Case: SC Says No Doubt On SEBI, Won’t Interfere In Investigation

They clarified that the scope of judicial review is confined to assessing whether any fundamental rights have been violated

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Jan 3, 2024 12:13 IST
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Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to provide directions or intervene in the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding a set of petitions requesting an investigation by an alternative agency into the fraud allegations against Adani Group, as highlighted in the Hindenburg Research report.

The bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, alongside Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, stated that the apex court has limited power to interfere in SEBI’s regulatory matters. The court’s role in judicial review is mainly to check if any fundamental rights have been violated.

“No valid ground invoked (in this case) for us to direct SEBI to revoke its regulations and the current regulations are tightened by amendments in question,” the apex Court said.

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The Court clarified that in the current case, SEBI did not fail in its regulatory duties. It emphasized that SEBI shouldn’t be expected to operate solely based on press reports, even though such reports could be considered as inputs for the regulatory body.

Investigative reports by press can act as inputs for SEBI but cannot be taken as credible evidence or a proof of regulatory failure by SEBI and it cannot cast doubt on the investigation being carried on by a statutory body,” the Court stated

The court clarified that investigative reports from the press may be considered as inputs for SEBI. The court firmly stated that it cannot cast doubt on the ongoing investigation conducted by a statutory body.

As a result, the court rejected the plea for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other agency. It pointed out that while the court has the authority under Article 32 and 142 to transfer the probe to agencies like the CBI, such powers should be used sparingly. The court emphasized that it will not typically replace the role of investigative agencies unless strong evidence is presented to demonstrate bias on the part of the regulatory body (SEBI).

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First published on: Jan 03, 2024 11:32 AM IST

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