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In a recent interview with NDTV, Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and senior opposition leader, said that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue is not required since the Supreme Court-appointed committee is examining the relevant issues. Pawar also suggested that the Adani group was “targeted” in the Hindenburg Research report.
Pawar’s remarks have been at odds with those of Congress, which has insisted on a JPC probe into the Hindenburg-Adani row. However, Pawar believes that the Supreme Court’s expert committee, which includes retired SC judges, experts, administrators, and economists, is better equipped to investigate the matter. The committee has been given guidelines, a timeframe, and asked to submit a probe report.
The Hindenburg Research report, which was released in late January 2021, accused the Adani Group of “overvaluing its assets” and “under-reporting its debt.” The report further alleged that the group had been improperly benefiting from its close relationship with the government.
The Adani Group has denied these allegations, calling them “blatantly erroneous” and “mischievous.” The group has also accused Hindenburg Research of trying to manipulate the market.
The Need for a Probe
The report’s allegations created a stir in the country, and many opposition parties demanded a JPC probe into the matter. However, Pawar believes that the Supreme Court’s intervention has made a JPC probe unnecessary.
He pointed out that if a JPC probe were to be conducted, it would have been dominated by the ruling party since it has a majority in Parliament. This could lead to apprehensions about the credibility of the probe’s findings. On the other hand, the Supreme Court is a neutral institution and is not influenced by any political party.
The Supreme Court Committee
The six-member expert committee set up by the Supreme Court has been given the mandate to investigate whether there was a regulatory failure in dealing with the alleged contravention of laws pertaining to the securities market in relation to the Adani Group or other companies.
The committee is expected to submit its report in two months. Since the committee is made up of experts and retired SC judges, Pawar believes that their findings will be impartial and credible.
The Opposition’s Stance
While Pawar believes that a JPC probe is unnecessary, many opposition parties have supported the demand for a JPC probe. The Congress party, in particular, has been vocal in its demand for a JPC probe into the Hindenburg-Adani row.
However, Pawar has pointed out that the Supreme Court’s intervention makes a JPC probe redundant. He also suggested that the ruling party’s majority in Parliament could influence the probe’s outcome.
In conclusion, Sharad Pawar, the NCP chief, and senior opposition leader, believes that there is no need for a JPC probe into the Adani issue since the Supreme Court-appointed committee is examining the relevant issues. He also believes that the committee’s findings will be impartial and credible since it is made up of experts and retired SC judges.
However, many opposition parties, including Congress, have supported the demand for a JPC probe. Ultimately, it will be up to the Supreme Court’s expert committee to investigate the matter and determine the veracity of the allegations made in the Hindenburg Research report.