Questioning SBI And LIC For Their Investment In “Inflated” Adani Shares, Congress Leader Moves Toward Supreme Court For Criminal Prosecution Of Adani Group

A petition was filed before the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking the execution of the Adani group of companies under various laws and questioning the decision of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest in Adani shares at allegedly exaggerated prices.

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The petition filed by Dr. Jaya Thakur, General Secretary of the Mahila Congress, Madhya Pradesh, stressed that LIC and SBI invested in Adani Enterprises at the rate of ₹3,200 per share when the share price stated to be prevailing in the request was between ₹1,600 and ₹1,800.

This is the third petition filed, concerning Adani group of companies this time in the wake of a report by Hindenburg Research on the empire. They said the report has indicted the Adani companies of fraudulent practices, including inflating their share price. 

The petitioner has impleaded the the Union of India, the Union Home Ministry, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the LIC and the SBI, piecemeal from the Adani group.

The petitioner has prompted the Court to direct a disquisition by these authorities against the Adani group and his associates under the supervision of a sitting Supreme Court Judge. In the alternative, the petitioner has called on the Court to direct these agencies to probe the part of the SBI and the LIC in investing huge quantities of public plutocrats (money) during the Adani Enterprises FPO at ₹3,200 per share. 

Highlights of the Arguments in the plea : 

  • Exposures in the Hindenburg report have put a serious question mark on the Adani group of companies. The report indicates that the Adani group had inflated the share price of their companies and that by using the exaggerated price, they obtained loans worth ₹82,000 crores from various public sector and private banks. 
  • The Adani group of companies and their associates have set up off-reinforcement shell companies at duty (taxes) havens similar as Mauritius, Sypris, UAE, Singapore and Caribbean islands, for the transfer of plutocrats through hawala routes. Therefore, they’ve indulged in money laundering as defined under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. 
  • LIC, SBI and several public sector companies have invested a huge quantum, at the rate of ₹3,200 per share, in Adani Enterprises, while in the secondary request the share was prevailing at ₹1,600 to ₹1,800 per share. This indicates that LIC and SBI have put several thousands of crores of public money at threat, without conducting due diligence. 
  • As per the Hindenburg report, an associate of the Adani group indulged in and is indicted in various cases reserved by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). In this regard, reference was made to Gautam Adani’s younger brother, Rajesh Adani, being indicted by the DRI of “playing a central part in a diamond trading import/export scheme around 2004-2005” which involved “the use of coastal shell realities to induce artificial development.” 
  • At Mundra Anchorages, possessed by Adani, a huge volume of narcotics drugs was seized several times. Still, no action has been taken by any probing agency including the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to enquire into the part of Adani Anchorages Limited. Despite striking and serious violations of SEBI Act, 1992, neither the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) nor the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken any action or initiated any disquisition against the Adani group. 
  • The alleged SEBI Act violations has led to the loss of over ₹10 crores of public/investor plutocrats in a space of 15 days between January 24th, 2023 and February 10th, added by the petitioner. The loans amounting to ₹82,000 crores extended to the Adani group is likely to be negatively affected since the fiscal health of the Adani group isn’t as good as shown by it while taking the loans. 
  • This will beget a serious liquidity crunch for Yes Bank and fiscal institutions, which will negatively affect the public at large in India, like it did in the case of Yes Bank. Foreign investors’ trust has been damaged as a result of the Adani group’s act of inflating its share price in order to get bank loans and the lack of the authorities to take any action against the Adani business. 
  • As a result, there is a good chance that foreign investment in India will decline significantly. This, in turn will affect the Indian frugality and character of India at a global position. 

The public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition was filed through advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma and was drawn by lawyers Varun Thakur and VV Gautam.

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