Adani Row: SC Refuses To Accept Suggestions In Sealed Cover, Cites Transparency

The Centre had told the bench that it wanted to provide details such as names and the scope of the panel’s mandate in a 'sealed cover', which the SC refused to accept.


Protest for probe into Adani row

While hearing petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg row, the Supreme Court on February 17, Friday told the Centre that the apex body will not entertain sealed cover suggestions. "We want to ensure transparency. In case we take your suggestions from a sealed cover, it automatically means the other party won't know," the CJI said. "We want full transparency for the protection of investors. We will form a committee. There will be a sense of confidence in the court," CJI DY Chandrachud said during the proceedings.

Observing that it wanted “full transparency for the protection of investors”, the top court also ruled out the possibility of any sitting judge overseeing the functioning of the proposed panel. “We are closing it for orders,” said the bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud after hearing brief submissions by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and PIL petitioners including lawyers Prashant Bhushan and M L Sharma.


The top court on February 10 suggested the Centre consider setting up a panel of domain experts headed by a former judge to strengthen the market regulatory mechanism in the wake of the allegations of stock manipulation against the Adani Group, as per media reports. The Centre in accordance submitted a note in a sealed cover to the court on Friday suggesting possible names of members to be part of the committee.

The Supreme Court bench comprising CJI, Justice S Narasimha, and JB Pardiwala indicated that it will constitute the committee by doing its own research and reserved order on the composition of the committee. "We can't start with a presumption of regulatory failure,"  Chief Chandrachud said.


Stressing that statutory bodies like the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) are “fully equipped” and are on job, the central government had expressed apprehension that any “unintentional” message to the investors that regulatory bodies in India needed monitoring by a panel may have some adverse impact on the flow of money into the country.

The Centre had told the bench that it wanted to provide details such as names and the scope of the panel’s mandate in a “sealed cover”.

As of now, lawyers M L Sharma and Vishal Tiwari, Congress leader Jaya Thakur and activist Mukesh Kumar have filed four PILs in the Supreme Court on the Adani-Hindenburg issue, with Sharma demanding an investigation into Hindenburg too.

(With PTI inputs)