regular-article-logo Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Congress to PM: Why are you scared of joint parliamentary committee?

In the Supreme Court, Centre said it was open to suggestion for constituting a committee of domain experts to protect investors’ interests in backdrop of Hindenburg Research report on Adanis

Our Bureau New Delhi Published 14.02.23, 03:07 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File Photo

The Congress on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he was afraid of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adanis despite evidence of wrongdoing and when previous governments had ordered such investigations in similar cases.

In the Supreme Court, the Centre said it was open to the suggestion for constituting a committee of domain experts to protect investors’ interests in the backdrop of the Hindenburg Research report on the Adanis. But the Centre did not forget to squeeze in a reference to its pet “sealed-cover” theme.


On the political front, Congress communications chief Jairam Ramesh recalled that the governments led by both the Congress and the BJP had in the past agreed to set up a JPC to investigate cases of large-scale stock market manipulation. “In 1992, a JPC was set up to look into the Harshad Mehta case while in 2001, a JPC investigated the Ketan Parekh case,” Ramesh said.

Continuing his questions under the HAHK (Hum Adani Ke Hain Kaun) series, Ramesh said: “Both Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had the confidence and trust in elected representatives to investigate scams that affected crores of Indian investors. What are you (Modi) afraid of ? Do you fear that a truly independent investigation might implicate you personally in the Adani group’s wrongdoings?”

Ramesh pointed out: “A 2007 Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) ruling following an investigation into excessive volatility in the shares of Adani Exports (now known as Adani Enterprises) between 1999 and 2001 had found that entities associated with notorious stock manipulator Ketan Parekh had indulged in ‘manipulative activities such as synchronised trading/circular trading and creation of artificial volume to influence the price in the scrip of Adani’. It also found that the ‘promoters of Adani group aided and abetted Ketan Parekh’s entities in manipulating the market’.”

Ramesh has contended that this bears a disturbing resemblance to the current allegations against the Adani group.

Ramesh said: “The difference being that the stock manipulation is now being done by opaque offshore entities. Why did Sebi tolerate an even more extreme rise in the Adani group stock prices after 2020 without investigating it with the required seriousness?”

The Congress leader added: “A close relative of his (Parekh’s) has worked with Elara Capital, the firm whose India fund had 99 per cent invested in Adani stocks. Elara also is known to have had a relationship with the chartered accountant Dharmesh Doshi, a Parekh associate who absconded from India in 2002. ...Is the government turning a blind eye to fresh collusion between Parekh and the Adani group, a relationship that goes back almost 25 years?”

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