The Congress alleged that a rule prohibiting investment by opaque funds was done away with by SEBI on “weak grounds” and said the market regulator cannot run with the hares by diluting reporting requirements and hunt with the hounds by pretending to identify beneficial ownership in opaque tax havens. The opposition party’s assertion came after a media report claimed that the Supreme Court-appointed committee scrutinised SEBI’s dropping of a key regulatory requirement for foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) months before it developed suspicions about Adani Group shareholding.
In a statement, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said it is now clear that, far from a clean chit, the Supreme Court expert committee on the “Modani mega scam” has unveiled how the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) investigation of suspicious Adani transactions has been blocked or reached an impasse, which is why the market regulator’s report deadline was extended to 14 August.
The expert committee had revealed that this was partly of SEBI’s own making after the regulator did away with the requirement on identifying the ultimate beneficial owner of foreign funds and deleted provisions on “opaque structures”, Ramesh said. He claimed that contrary to the findings of the expert committee, this bears a strong resemblance to regulatory failure. “We earnestly hope that the 14 August SEBI report throws more light on the issue rather than covering it up,”