Congress cites media reports to slam Sebi probe into Adani issue


NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday cited media reports to question the Sebi investigation into the Adani issue and said that if claims that the market regulator is planning to let off the conglomerate with “token fines” for “technical violations” are correct then India’s transition to a “kleptocracy” will be complete.
The opposition party also alleged that the message was clear — India’s institutions will be rendered toothless while its investigative agencies are used only to protect Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “close friends”.
In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that there has been a spate of news reports on the Supreme Court-mandated Sebi investigation of the “Adani Mega Scam”.
If these reports are correct and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is planning to let off Adani with token fines for “technical violations”, then India’s transition to a ‘kleptocracy’ will be complete, he said.
At the 9th G20 meeting held in Brisbane back in November 2014, Prime Minister Modi had called for cooperation between nations “to eliminate safe havens for economic offenders”, to “track down and unconditionally extradite money launderers” and to “break down the web of complex international regulations and excessive banking secrecy that hide the corrupt and their deeds”, Ramesh said.
“Yet he (Modi) has done all he can to protect his corrupt friends and their misdeeds. The PM’s pet agencies are investigating entities that shorted Adani shares in January 2023 rather than the far more serious charges of money laundering and round-tripping that have been made against the Adani Group,” he alleged.
Ramesh said that at no point has the Sebi asked the Enforcement Directorate or the CBI to take further action against Adani even though, to quote the Supreme Court’s Expert Committee on the Adani issue — “the securities market regulator suspects wrongdoing”.
This when these very same agencies have been widely used to “harass” opposition parties and non-BJP state governments, he said.
“If any further evidence was needed to show that India’s once-proud institutions now face capture, it is evident now,” Ramesh said.
“Rather than compromised institutions, only a joint parliamentary committee probe can investigate the full extent of the Adani Mega Scam, and look for answers to questions such as where the Rs 20,000 crore of opaque foreign funds have flowed into Adani companies, what is the true financial relationship between Gautam and Vinod Adani, and how PM Modi has personally facilitated Adani’s businesses in India and abroad by changing laws, rules and regulations to enrich his close friends,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress has been questioning the financial dealings of the Adani group after US research firm Hindenburg alleged “irregularities” and charged the group with stock price manipulation. The Adani Group denied all the allegations made in the Hindenburg report and claimed there had been no wrongdoing on its part.
Opposition parties have also been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue.

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