The Adani Group, owned by the second-richest man in the country, Gautam Adani, was accused of manipulating the stock market. The Supreme Court of India denied a request for a special investigation into these claims. The allegations were initially raised by American research firm Hindenburg last year, causing a temporary dip of about $145 billion in the conglomerate’s market value.

The Supreme Court directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to conclude its ongoing investigation within three months.

Hindenburg’s report, released in January last year, accused the Adani Group of being “highly overvalued” and engaging in a “stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.”

A group of public interest litigations (PILs) sought a court-monitored probe into the matter, leading to the Supreme Court’s involvement.

The court’s decision declared that there was no cause for suspicion regarding SEBI’s probe, pointing out that the agency had already finished looking into 22 of the 24 cases involving the Adani Group.

SHARE PRICES FOR ADANI GROUP

Post the verdict, share prices of several companies within the Adani Group surged by a combined 18% in early trading on Wednesday.

Gautam Adani expressed gratitude on social media, stating that the judgment affirmed the truth, and he vowed to continue contributing to India’s growth story.

The Supreme Court also highlighted that the petitioners relied on reports by newspapers and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an international investigative platform.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud emphasized that while such reports could serve as inputs for SEBI or an expert committee, they could not be considered conclusive proof of the inadequacy of SEBI’s investigation.

Adani notably brought up the fact that OCCRP receives funding from a number of governments and non-governmental groups, such as the Open Society Foundation, which is led by American philanthropist and investor George Soros, who has publicly expressed his animosity towards the Adani Group.

George Soros had previously expressed concerns about the “close allegiance” that Adani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had. Gautam Adani’s net worth is estimated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to be $85.9 billion.

 

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